False fire alarm prompts evacuation of Alcatraz

May 1, 2011 5:31:44 PM PDT
Hundreds of people were evacuated from one of the most popular tourist attractions in San Francisco Sunday.

It was a great day for a tour until around 1,100 people were forced to leave. The incident started around 1:30 p.m. and turned out to be a big headache for people on the island.

The company that provides boat tours to the island says it was running at full capacity when a problem occurred with an alarm on the island. Tourists say they heard an alarm go off, but never smelled any smoke. A spokeswoman for the tour company told ABC7 the evacuations turned out to be a precautionary measure. That "precautionary measure" meant many tourists were forced to cut their trips to the famous landmark short.

"There was no smell. There was no smoke. There was no gases, but the alarm went off and rules are rules," evacuee Pam Staff said laughingly. "We've got to follow the rules at Alcatraz."

"The fire crew had to come in and check to see that there was no fire, and they did that, but by that time we already had to come back to get to our airplane tonight," Mega Gutridge said.

All tours were cancelled for the evening, creating a long line of people waiting to get refunds. The tour company says it is refunding money to all the people who paid but had their trip cut short.


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