Police Evacuate Area Near Philadelphia Vote-Counting Center Over Alleged Bomb Threats

Police Evacuate Area Near Philadelphia Vote-Counting Center Over Alleged Bomb Threats
A man drops off his ballot for the 2020 General Election in the United States outside the Chester County Government Services Center in West Chester, Pa., on Oct. 23, 2020. (Matt Slocum/AP Photo)
Jack Phillips

Police evacuated an area near the Philadelphia ballot-counting center due to alleged bomb threats, officials said Friday. They later declared it clear.

Officials told the Philadelphia Inquirer that no explosives or any other devices were found at the Fashion District after searching the building on Friday. There was a bomb threat made at the mall, which is located near the building where the votes for the presidential election are being counted.

Officials told the paper that K-9 officers carried out a search by 3 p.m., finding no device inside.

Evan Benn, a spokesperson for the paper, told WHYY in Philadelphia that the paper's staff in its offices were "immediately notified" of the threat and were evacuated.

SEPTA, the municipal transportation agency, said it stopped all trains at Jefferson Station, located near the Fashion District, according to the station.

A police report obtained by WHYY said the same individual made two calls about a bomb. The mall and outlying areas were then evacuated.

In another incident, Commissioner Danielle Outlaw and District Attorney Larry Krasner said that two men carrying guns outside the vote-counting area were arrested. They said the men didn't have any connection to a larger effort to cause disruption of the vote-counting, according to the Inquirer.

Officials said that neither of the two men had a valid permit to carry a gun before they were arrested, reported USA Today.

The Philadelphia Police Department and the FBI are investigating.

On Friday, amid vote-counting in Pennsylvania, Democratic challenger Joe Biden pulled ahead of President Donald Trump. Biden has not declared himself a winner.