Terrorist bombs exploded in two midtown Manhattan office buildings yesterday morning, killing one man and injuring seven other persons, while dozens of bomb threats forced more than 100,000 people to evacuate their offices.
The entire twin towers of the World Trade Center were evacuated, as were seven floors of the Empire State Building. The self-styled FALN terrorist group took responsibility for the explosions, leaving a statement at the base of the statue of Jose Marti, the Cuban revolutionary in Central Park that called for the independence of Puerto Rico.
The evacuations caused traffic and pedestrian jams around the city, as entire streets and sidewalks were closed. Wherever fire and police vehicles gathered, throngs of people stood in the rain and pushed against wooden or rope barricades for a better view. Some people took advantage of the early quitting time to socialize in local bars, while thousands of others went home.
To date, investigators have linked 59 bombings to the group. The most devastating of which was the lunch-hour blast in January 1975 that shattered Fraunces Tavern in lower Manhattan, killing four persons and injuring 53.
Diners in the crowded restaurant, a historic landmark, where George Washington bade farewell to his officers, were hurled from their tables. One man was decapitated and other victims staggered bleeding into the streets.
Breasted NYT 8/4/77