May 23, 2014 3:14 am

9/11 museum evacuated due to false alarm

People walk the grounds at the Ground Zero memorial site after authorities recently took down gates and opened the plaza to the public on May 19, 2014 in New York City. Visitors previously had to wait in line to enter a barricaded area which includes the newly dedicated National September 11 Memorial Museum.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

NEW YORK – Visitors at the National September 11 Memorial Museum last week were startled when a false alarm caused officials to briefly evacuate the site.

A New York Fire Department spokesman says firefighters responded to a report of an alarm just after 1 p.m. on May 16.

He says the alarm turned out to be false. There were no injuries.

Debbie Almontaser, a guest at the museum when the alarm sounded, tells the New York Times she and about 30 to 40 other evacuees were directed to the nearest exit.

She says it took about five minutes to traverse various corridors and stairways before they reached daylight seven stories up.

A museum spokesman did not immediately reply to a message seeking comment. The museum officially opened to the public Wednesday.

© 2014 The Canadian Press

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