Thousands of people were seen running for their lives in the Times Square tourist area of New York City Tuesday night after vehicle backfires were mistaken for shots.

“Motorcycles backfiring while passing through sounded like gun shots," the NYPD’s Midtown North district tweeted, adding that they received several calls on the incident and "Please don’t panic. The Times Square area is very safe."

Nine people were hurt, and seven were taken to area hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries, an FDNY spokesman told the New York Post.

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