Amanda Ripley

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All Calm at McDonald’s in Times Square

2nd May 2010 posted in Resilience

Second most important detail to come out so far about the attempted bombing of Times Square on Saturday evening: People did not freak out.

How many movies have imagined chaos in Times Square at the slightest threat of danger? Now we know that the reality is a lot less cinematic. As is the case in almost every disaster I have studied, from terrorist attacks to sinking ships to airplane crashes, regular people become calm, quiet and obedient… because it’s in their interest to do so.

From CNN:

Pamela Hall was at a McDonald’s when a police officer told her to pick up her food and leave.

“They told us to go straight to 47th Street,” Hall said. “Nobody was frightened. The cops weren’t upset and the people were not noticeably upset. We were all just perplexed. We just went to 47th Street and ended up taking pictures and watching.”