A loud noise, possibly from construction work, was mistaken for gunshots Wednesday afternoon at San Francisco General Hospital, sparking a brief scare.
Staff of the city's main emergency, trauma and psychiatric facility reported possible gunfire about 1 p.m. PT in an outbuilding that does not provide patient care, the hospital said in a statement. Police and sheriff's deputies searched the building and declared the all-clear at 1:50 p.m.
Witnesses had reported a possible suspect seen running from the hospital.
"Rumors of shots fired are false," the statement said. "The noise may have been caused by construction on campus, though we are not certain of that."
A hospital spokeswoman told KGO-AM that there was a report of a "loud noise" in Building 1, possibly on the third or fourth floor, but that there was no immediate confirmation of gunfire.
Staff members were instructed to shelter in place, lock doors or leave if possible, according to alerts sent by the University of California-San Francisco, whose doctors provide care in conjunction with the city's Department of Public Health.
A nine-story, 284-bed acute-care facility is being built on the grounds of the 160-year-old hospital.
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