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Tyra: 'Top Model' auditions to resume after melee

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[March 17, 2009]  NEW YORK (AP) -- Supermodel 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.

RestaurantPanic ensued among hundreds of people waiting to audition for the show 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; By ERIN CARLSON]

Associated Press writer Tom Hays contributed to this report.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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