August 9, 2006

Scare over package disrupts Washington rail service

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An empty package on the tracks of
Washington's Metro rail system caused a security scare that
tied up morning commuter traffic for three 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.
"They found out it was just an empty box. We don't know how it
got there but it's all over," said Metro spokeswoman Taryn

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. Normal service
resumed around 12:10 p.m.