An unattended package left outside the Bangladesh Mission to the United Nations in New York City triggered a bomb scare – which turned out to be a false alarm – that shut down 2nd Avenue for several hours on Thursday afternoon, Prothom Alo reported.
The package had been mistakenly left by a mission employee at its gates on 43rd Street and 2nd Avenue, and contained copies of the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s speech to be given the next day at the UN General Assembly.
The abandoned package was sighted and suspected to contain explosives.
Panic ensued as the New York police counter-terrorism squad, the Indian Central Bureau of Investigation, the army Special Forces, and city fire department, dog squad and ambulances arrived at the scene.
Officials confiscated the package. After a few hours of evaluation, the courts returned the package to the mission later that evening.
Sources said the package containing copies of Hasina’s speech had been sent from the UN with the absent-minded staffer to be safeguarded at the mission.
Security was already on high alert this week in and around UN headquarters for the 68th General Assembly, where heads of state have gathered from all over the world.
The incident caused embarrassment for the Bangladesh Mission the day before the prime minister’s address.