Red Bank Mayor Pasquale “Pat” Menna said police searching the Merrill Lynch building have not yet found anything suspicious.
The building at 75 Broad Street in Red Bank received a bomb threat at approximately 10 am this morning. Police evacuated the premises and closed the intersection of Broad Street and Linden Place to traffic and pedestrians.
Menna said the information was that a bomb had been placed in the underground parking garage, however, he said that “police were unable to discern any suspicious vehicles, but they took all the necessary precautions.”
Officials are standing by awaiting the arrival of the New Jersey State Police Bomb Unit. A canine unit from the New Jersey Transit Police was on scene awaiting orders.
Rumson Mayor John Ekdahl, who works at Merrill Lynch, was inside the building when the bomb threat came in.
“Right now the biggest question is how long this process is going to take,” Ekdahl said of the general discussion among fellow evacuees. “It’s a matter of hours, not a matter of minutes.”
According to Ekdahl many of the Merrill Lynch employees’ vehicles are parked inside the parking garage, which has also been evacuated and cordoned off.
“Right now, I’m a captive of Red Bank,” Ekdahl said.
Ekdahl also said that the firm conducts evacuation drills once a month, but this was not a drill.
An initial crowd of approximately 30 evacuated employees and onlookers has dwindled to just a small group of people milling around.
The bomb threat came in at approximately 10 am through an anonymous phone call.
Fire departments in the surrounding area and other emergency response teams are standing by.