- The Washington Times - Monday, March 16, 2009

NEW YORK (AP) - Super model Tyra Banks, host and executive producer of “America’s Next Top Model,” says auditions for the CW series will continue following the chaos that erupted at a casting call over the weekend.

“To all the `Top Model’ hopefuls who were affected by the New York casting, we are doing everything we can to make sure that ALL the girls who weren’t seen, get an opportunity to audition _ we’ll update you on our plans very soon,” Banks said in a statement issued Monday by the CW network.

Panic ensued among hundreds of people waiting to audition for the show on Saturday outside the Park Central New York hotel in Manhattan, resulting in three arrests and six injuries. The messy scene _ which can be viewed on YouTube _ caused such a commotion that the street outside the hotel became littered with shoes and clothing.

Police blamed the melee on pushing and shoving that began when the line of hopefuls swelled to a throng of several thousand. Organizers hadn’t expected a crowd that size and were overwhelmed by it.

The situation escalated when a smoking car broke down nearby and a rumor spread that it might be a bomb, police said. Three people were cited for resisting arrest and other infractions after they toppled a police barrier, police said.

New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne said organizers should have notified police before the gathering for help with crowd control. He said there’s been no similar problems with open calls on other shows.

___

Associated Press Writer Tom Hays contributed to this report.

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