MGM National Harbor fireworks cause ‘mass exit,’ reported theft on property

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Prince George’s County police have confirmed that a set of fireworks startled casino patrons and resulted in a mass exit and property theft at MGM National Harbor.

The fireworks, according to a police spokesperson, were released inside the building, causing some patrons to rush outside of the building.

While police said an investigation is ongoing into the Friday night event, they acknowledged that property was stolen following the explosion. MGM National Harbor has not confirmed the details of any theft on the property but did say that they are working closely with police to investigate the matter.

Margaret Moore Kellett, a visitor and former reporter in attendance Saturday night, called the night one of the most harrowing of her lifetime.

“All of a sudden, we saw people running,” Moore Kellett told WTOP. “An enormous crowd of people running towards the door.”

Meanwhile, social media posts grew as patrons and area residents voiced concerns about the exodus. An exit that Moore Kellett said was tough to navigate when they had so little information or time to react.

“Another couple was standing there and we understood that it was a bomb threat and an active shooter,” she said.

Some online commenters used similar language, describing an active shooter or loud gunshots in the casino, saying that they should “grab some chips” on the way out. Other reports claimed that something as small as a set of fireworks might have been set off in the area.

During our earlier reporting, WTOP reached out to the security team at MGM National Harbor for information on the event or any impacts to their services — they have declined to comment.

We also reached out to public information officers, managing security personnel, hotel management and communications staff. While some calls were answered with no comment, most calls were cut off after being transferred to staff.

In either event, attendee Margarett Moore Kellett said that more information is needed so that patrons can feel safe visiting the space.

“I would look into this seriously,” she said. “I know that in the past they had had some shooters, and I did not know about this previously.”

WTOP reached out to the Prince George’s County police department and fire department for information. They have said that more information on the incident can be expected Monday.

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