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Unattended luggage forces closure of Union Station

(The Associated Press circulated the following article on July 21.)

WASHINGTON -- Ten Amtrak passenger trains were delayed for nearly three hours late Thursday after police closed Union Station, the capital's main intercity train depot, after finding a piece of unattended luggage, officials said.

An Amtrak police officer discovered the luggage in the station shortly before 8 p.m., and the passenger railroad began holding trains outside of the station. Union Station was evacuated a short time later. Commuter trains in the region were also stopped short of the station.

Shortly before 11 p.m., police deemed the station safe and dozens of passengers were allowed back inside. U.S. Capitol police and District of Columbia police helped with the search.

Metro trains were running through the station but weren't stopping for passengers to get on or off, said Lisa Farbstein, a spokeswoman for the mass transit system.

Amtrak trains from the north stopped at New Carrollton, Md., to let passengers continue on to Washington on the mass transit system, and trains from the south stopped at Alexandria, Va.

Bus service bypassed the station, located just blocks from the U.S. Capitol.

Friday, July 21, 2006

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