NEW YORK — A tear gas bomb exploded in the Metropolitan Opera House on Tuesday and injured at least 20 people, five minutes into a performance by a Russian dance troupe. Callers who said they represented the Jewish Defense League claimed responsibility.
A loud pop resounded through the sold-out auditorium in Lincoln Center, where the Moiseyev Dance Company was performing.
Tears ran down peoples' faces as the acrid smell wafted through the theater.
A call to JDL offices to confirm whether the organization was in fact involved was answered by a machine.
The bomb exploded just after the orchestra played the national anthems of the Soviet Union and the United States, said Johanna Fiedler, a spokeswoman for the Met.
The explosion apparently occurred near the back of the orchestra section. The fumes moved forward, and the 4,000 people in the house left immediately.