October 18, 2005

Baltimore tunnels reopen after security scare

BALTIMORE (Reuters) - Two major highway tunnels at
Baltimore were closed for more than two hours after a security
alert on Tuesday, disrupting traffic on the key U.S. East Coast

Maryland Transportation Authority Police Chief Gary
McLhinney said at a news conference a decision was made to
reopen the tunnels after searches the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel
and the Fort McHenry Tunnel and various vehicles, turned up
nothing suspicious.

Asked if police found anything, he said, "No, we did not."

The closures were based on information from an
investigation by the FBI and state and local authorities,
McLhinney said.

A U.S. government official who declined to be identified
said the two tunnels were closed due to an uncorroborated
threat, and a detective with the Maryland Transportation
Authority Police said the closings were due to "an unspecified
terror threat."

Earlier McLhinney said a decision to completely close the
Harbor Tunnel, while the Fort McHenry Tunnel was partially
closed in each direction, was made in an effort "to err on the
side of caution, an abundance of caution."

The tunnels were closed at 11:20 a.m., police said.