Guests were evacuated from a posh Midtown Manhattan hotel Tuesday after an employee cleaning up a “white, powdery substance” in a room was hospitalized, police said.
The incident unfolded at the Park Hyatt New York hotel on W. 57th St. near Seventh Ave. when a woman cleaning the room began to feel dizzy and nauseous as she finished up around 1:20 p.m., said sources and NYPD Assistant Chief James McCarthy, the commanding officer of patrol bureau Manhattan South.
Medics took her to a local hospital, where she told staff she had cleaned a white powder from a bathroom surface.
The FDNY responded to the hotel where they swabbed various surfaces in the room, which at first tested as a “possible trace” of an explosive substance, McCarthy said at a news conference Tuesday night.
Authorities initially thought it may have been “a possible compound of high explosives,” according to a police source.
Upon further investigation, officials discovered the test results were false positives.
It’s unclear why the woman got sick after cleaning the room.
Police scouring hotel surveillance footage discovered a man squatted in the room from around 8:20 p.m. Sunday to 10:30 a.m. Monday morning after he picked up a key the previous guests had dropped, cops said.
He has been arrested 16 times for “low-level crimes” and has previously trespassed in other hotels, police said.
The man often searches for misplaced or old hotel key cards on the streets and robs guests, sources said.
“How did he even get in here?” asked a Hyatt employee. “It’s ridiculous.”
Cops are still looking for him.