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Loud 'bang' evacuates movies at Tysons

Monday - 5/19/2014, 11:35am  ET

McLEAN, Va. -- Rick Dunbar of Herndon was watching a late showing of "Godzilla" at the Tysons Corner Center AMC just after midnight Sunday when something didn't seem right.

"They're in the middle of a battle scene, and all [of a] sudden I hear this loud ‘bang,'" Dunbar told WTOP Sunday. "I wasn't too sure if it was part of the soundtrack, or what it was."

After a few moments, Dunbar and his son decided to leave the theater. But so did everyone else.

"It turned into quite a bit of panic, I guess," Dunbar says. "There was considerable pushing. I almost ran over the poor little 8-year-old kid in front of me."

The impromptu evacuation did not go well, as someone had parked a stroller in front of the door.

Police say moviegoers called "911" and reported suspicious "popping noises." They originally thought it was an active shooter, but once they arrived, they found the remains of two soda bottle chemical devices near the entrances to the theaters.

Fairfax County Police say it happened around 12:15 a.m. Sunday at the AMC Tysons Corner 16 movie theater complex.

Fairfax County police spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell says no one was injured during the incident. About 2,000 people in the theater and food court were evacuated while officials investigated. No one was hurt.

Caldwell also tells WTOP that no one had been arrested as of Sunday evening.

The Fairfax County Fire Marshal will try to determine what was in the bottles. Deputy Chief Michael Reilly tells The Washington Post the bottles containted an explosive mixture of acid and metal.

Dunbar and his son got out fine, but he said he plans on writing a letter to AMC complaining about the level of preparation for events such as that one.

WTOP could not reach AMC Theaters for comment.

Anyone with information is asked to call Fairfax County Police at 703-691-2131 or contact Crime Solvers by phone at 1-866-411-TIPS/8477. Information will be forwarded to the fire marshal.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter and WTOP on Facebook.

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