August 9, 2006

Suspicious package disrupts Washington rail system

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A suspicious package on the tracks
of Washington's Metro rail system tied up morning commuter
traffic for hours in the heart of the U.S. capital on
Wednesday, authorities said.

The package, a square-foot (0.09 sq-meter) plastic box, was
found near Amtrak's Union Station about 9:10 a.m. along a track
bed that the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
shares with the national passenger rail service.

A police bomb squad, with FBI agents standing by, blasted
the package open with a water cannon shortly before midday,
Metro spokeswoman Noreen Tahir said. There was no immediate
word what the box contained, but Tahir said the package bore
Amtrak markings.

Amtrak service was not affected by the incident. But
transit authorities shut down a Metro subway line to suburban
Maryland in the vicinity of Union Station.