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A strange hoax keeps causing Burger King workers to smash store windows

USA TODAY USA TODAY 13/04/2016 Josh Hafner

A Burger King location in Chicago. © Scott Olson, Getty Images A Burger King location in Chicago. Employees of a Minnesota Burger King smashed the windows of their employer’s restaurant after a prank phone call told them doing so would keep the building from exploding.

Police said workers at a Burger King in the Minneapolis suburb of Coon Rapids received the call Friday night, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

The voice on the other end claimed to be a fire department official, detailing how a gas leak and buildup in the restaurant could cause an explosion if employees did not smash out the windows – immediately.

The restaurant’s manager and employees evacuated the restaurant and smashed every window on the store’s first floor.

“It’s nothing I ever came across so I didn’t know what to do,” Employee Ethan Grewe told WCCO-TV.

“I guess I was a little scared. My other co-workers were doing it so I just followed along”

A video published on YouTube purportedly captured the frenzy: 

Coon Rapids police received at call about people smashing the restaurant’s windows at around 9:30 p.m.

Sgt. Rick Boone told the Star Tribune that employees were still busting windows as police arrived, with the manager frantically explaining how the building was about to explode.

Then police explained: They had been hoaxed, but they weren’t the first.

Someone made a similar prank call to a Burger King in Shawnee, Okla., the night before, station KFOR-TV reported. Warned about rising carbon monoxide levels, the employees there shattered $10,000 worth of windows.

Before that, the hoax unfolded in February at a Burger King in Morro Bay, Calif., where a manager drove his car into the building after hearing of a supposed gas leak,  the Associated Press reported.

The prank played out again at Jack In the Box restaurants in Tucson, Ariz., earlier that month, according to AP, as well as at a Wendy’s in Phoenix in January.

By Saturday morning, all the Coon Rapids store’s windows were boarded up, the Star Tribune reported. The drive-thru remained open until the windows were fixed.

Follow Josh Hafner on Twitter: @joshhafner


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