The promotional stunt saw The Los Angeles Times racks fitted with a digital musical device which was set to play the distinctive tune when the door was opened.
However, some of the ill-fitted boxes became disconnected and sprouted wires, prompting alarmed customers to report potential bomb attacks.
Officials from The Los Angeles Times said the stunt was designed to transform the "everyday news rack experience" into an "extraordinary mission."
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department arson squad, who destroyed a box, say, "This was the least intended outcome. We weren't expecting anything like this."
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