False alarm at Stonestown Galleria mall
April 8, 2009 3:01 PM
A false alarm at the Stonestown Galleria mall on Wednesday was briefly misinterpreted as a bomb threat by shoppers.
At approximately 1:25 p.m. fire alarms went off in the 19th Avenue mall. According to Lt. Sarah Ramos, lead supervisor of mall security, routine maintenance set off the security triggers within the mall.
A false alarm announcement was immediately made over the mall PA system, but the acoustics of the building combined with the music being played made the message unclear to shoppers.
"I couldn't hear what he was saying," said Janine McClellan, a shopper, "it sounded like he said bomb."
Nobody was evacuated and a second, clearer announcement was made about 10 minutes later by Ramos to clarify the false alarm.
According to mall officials, the false alarm had nothing to do with a bomb, fire or a prank. It was a routine official test that set off one of the backup sensors.
Stonestown has multiple backup security triggers and not all of them had been shut off before the test was conducted.
"When working in the mall, any type of work is going to mess with the mall security system," Ramos said. "As of right now we're working with engineers. It was a case of miscommunication."
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