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Strand Bookstore Evacuated After Suspected Pepper Spray Incident

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The iconic Strand Bookstore near Union Square was evacuated Tuesday afternoon, after someone was believed to have sprayed pepper spray inside the store.

The bookstore at 828 Broadway, at East 12th Street, was evacuated shortly after 4 p.m., the FDNY said.

An official at 1010 WINS said a woman in the bookstore had pepper spray in her purse and it went off.

FDNY Battalion Chief Pat Sheridan told CBS 2's Jessica Schneider that two dozen people complained of irritation to their throats. The approximately 100 people in the store were evacuated as a precaution.

Hazmat meters indicated no dangerous substances, Sheridan said.

By shortly after 5 p.m., the FDNY declared the scene was clear and people were allowed back inside the bookstore.

The three-story bookstore has been open since 1927, and boasts "18 miles of used and rare books."

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