December 11, 2013
US warns Broadway theaters on security threats
US safety regulators have told Broadway theaters to update their emergency plans, a reminder that the aging buildings near New York's Times Square may need to evacuate as some did during a failed bomb plot a year ago.
"Recent events, such as last summer's attempted car bomb in Times Square, have highlighted the need for increased vigilance and ongoing emergency preparedness," the Occupational Safety and Health Administration said in an April 16 letter.
It reminded theaters, where some 12 million people see shows every year, that they were required to develop an Emergency Action Plan.
Though sent to all New York City theaters, the letter had particular importance for the 40 Broadway theaters in the Times Square area, some of which were evacuated following a bomb scare on May 1 last year.
A man linked to the Pakistani Taliban parked a vehicle packed with explosive material in Times Square but failed to properly ignite it. Faisal Shahzad pleaded guilty, saying Islamist extremists would continue to attack the United States.
Thirty-three of Broadway's 40 theaters were built in the 1920s or earlier. All are subject to random inspections.