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Suspicious box causes train delay

(The Seattle Times posted the following article on its website on July 18.)

SEATTLE, Wash. -- Seattle police detonated a suspicious-looking metal box found late yesterday afternoon in the railroad tunnel in downtown Seattle, interrupting rail traffic for several hours, including a Sound Transit shuttle carrying Mariners fans to Snohomish County.

It turned out to be a piece of railroad electrical equipment.

"It appears from the initial investigation it's railroad equipment, a railroad transformer," said BNSF Railway spokesman Gus Melonas, adding that "it's not designed to be in the area."

The incident began around 4:30 p.m. when a BNSF inspector found the breadbox-size metal container with two wires sticking out and reported it to police. A Seattle police bomb squad responded and detonated the box around 7:15 p.m.

"I think erring on the cautious side is probably prudent these days," said Seattle police spokesman Rich Pruitt.

The box was found midway in the milelong tunnel that begins at the King Street Station and ends near the Seattle Aquarium. The tunnel reopened around 7:50 p.m.

An estimated 200 to 300 people leaving the Mariners game on the Sounder Homerun Service train were transferred to buses that took them to Everett and Edmonds, said Sound Transit spokesman Geoff Patrick.

Also delayed were two Amtrak passenger trains, one with about 400 passengers aboard, Pruitt said.

Monday, July 18, 2005

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