Fireworks go off in Union Station, causing Sunday afternoon panic

(Video courtesy NBC Washington)

Kevin Donahue, D.C.’s deputy mayor for Public Safety, said no one was hurt after loud bangs, likely from fireworks, set off a panic inside Union Station on Sunday afternoon.

According to a number of social media posts, many people mistook the noise for gunshots and rushed toward the train station’s exits or hid inside stores in the shopping concourse.

Donahue’s post on Twitter confirmed there was no shooter and there were no gunshot victims.


WTOP’s news partner NBC Washington reported D.C. fire officials said the chaos triggered medical issues for three people. Medics treated them at the scene.

One person inside the station used Twitter to report what he saw going on, saying, “thank god it wasn’t worse.”

Another Twitter user captured a video of police cars rushing through the traffic circle in front of the station.

Dan Friedell

Dan Friedell is a digital writer for WTOP. He came to the D.C. area in 2007 to work as digital editor for, and since then has worked for a number of local and national news organizations.

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