The Santa Monica Pier was back to normal Tuesday after hundreds of tourists and locals were forced off the pier for hours on a hot, late summer day due to telephoned bomb threats.
Law enforcement authorities launched an investigation as they tried to find the bomb-threat caller who created the tense evacuation of the famed pier.
Both the Hawthorne Police Department and Culver City Police Department received similar threatening calls midday Friday.
The evacuation of the pier lasted about seven hours into Friday evening before the “all clear” was finally given by authorities and restaurants and other facilities on the tourist mecca were reopened.
The first threat was received about 12:30 p.m. by the Hawthorne Police Department and a second by the Culver City Police Department, according to Santa Monica police.
A sweep of the pier led to a suspicious vehicle in a parking lot on the usually busy tourist attraction — which includes an amusement park, restaurants and other concessions.
The pier was evacuated and a sheriff’s bomb squad was called in, Santa Monica police Lt. Saul Rodriguez said..
FBI personnel were also at the scene, Rodriguez said.
During the pier evacuation that began around 1 p.m., Santa Monica Fire Department officials ordered people to avoid the area and traffic was jammed throughout that part of the city.
The intersection of Ocean and Colorado avenues was shut down as the afternoon rush-hour began in an area that’s almost always heavy with traffic.
Motorists were urged to find alternate routes away from the closed-off area.
After several hours, the bomb squad determined the vehicle was not a threat and police announced about 7 p.m. that the pier was reopened.
— Staff and wire reports