October 7, 2005

New York’s Penn Station normal after scare

By Ilaina Jonas

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Police briefly sealed off part of
Pennsylvania Station where Amtrak trains operate on Friday
after a suspicious soda can oozing a green liquid sparked a
scare a day after officials warned of a possible attack on the
city's subway system.

Less than two hours after the scare began, the station was
back to normal when the suspicious package turned out not to be

"It was a soda can with a green liquid bubbling out, but it
doesn't seem to be anything," one Amtrak police officer on the
scene told reporters. The officer said the liquid was caustic.

The scare came one day after New York officials said they
had intelligence that the city's subway system was under a
credible and specific threat of possible attack.

Even during the scare commuters could still enter the
subway at the station and hundreds of passengers still waited
for trains near the Amtrak area and some trains were still
boarding passengers.

New passengers were not being allowed enter the area but
those already inside the station were not evacuated. Police
wearing hazardous material suit were seen walking about the
cordoned-off area.

Pennsylvania Station, located in midtown Manhattan, is one
the country's biggest mass transit hubs, handling some 1
million passengers daily. The station serves commuters from the
Long Island Rail Road, New Jersey Transit trains, city subway
riders and Amtrak passengers who can travel nationwide.

Amtrak spokeswoman Tracy Connell said Amtrak boarded trains
and did not interrupt service while the suspicious soda can was
dealt with.