This Wednesday, CNN received a pipe bomb in the mail at its New York City office, forcing all of its employees to evacuate the Time Warner Building and surrounding area. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama also received similar threats in the mail, prompting some to speculate if this was a concerted attack on left-leaning critics of President Donald Trump.
CNN evacuated the building at around 10 a.m., right when the bomb was found. Anchors were immediately taken off air as newsrooms were cleared. Police officers and bomb squad trucks crowded the area and the Time Warner building reopened at around 3:45 p.m.. The bomb was removed from the premises and no one was injured in the incident.
Several NYU students intern at CNN and Time Warner. Though many weren’t present during their scare, they recounted their experienced to WSN.
CNN intern and Steinhardt senior Louisa Chang was at the CNN office when alerted to the bomb threat, but she did not realize the potential danger of the situation at the time.
“It didn’t really hit me how serious it was until I saw it all over the news,” Chang said. “I didn’t know it was an actual explosive, and I didn’t realize how serious it was until I saw pictures of them getting rid of the bomb. It still hasn’t hit me because you don’t really expect that type of stuff to happen to you.”
Time Warner intern and Steinhardt senior Grace Moon was not present during the time of the incident, but remembers feeling terrified upon hearing the news.
“I received a flood of texts asking ‘Are you alive? What’s going on? Where are you? Call me now.’ I spent a majority of my morning responding to those texts,” Moon said. “I’m really grateful that people thought of me and reached out to me, but I broke down in the morning because I wasn’t sure if people I knew were ok. It didn’t hit me how many people I know in this one building because I’ve worked on three different teams. It was really scary.”
CNN intern and CAS senior Kaitlyn Wang also was not present at the time of the evacuation, but worried about her colleagues at CNN.
“I was horrified to learn of the intercepted explosive device and suspicious package sent to CNN this morning. I texted all morning with several people both interning and working at CNN as we tried to make sense of what was happening, receiving several updates throughout the day from Turner and CNN,” Wang said in an email. “I had a lot of people contacting me at the same time, and I’m grateful to my family and friends for checking in even though I wasn’t onsite.”
It was the fact that there were multiple bomb threats that struck students the most. It reminded Moon that newsrooms are just as susceptible to threats as high-profile political figures.
“The scariest moment was that it wasn’t a singular instance. Obama and Clinton, and all these other people were receiving the same thing, and that really scared me the most,” Moon said. “I am really interested in pursuing journalism and that was definitely a really scary moment.”
Editor’s Note: Kaitlyn Wang was a WSN editor in 2017.
Email Meghna Maharishi and Victor Porcelli at [email protected]