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Scare over package disrupts Washington rail service

(Reuters circulated the following article on August 9.)

WASHINGTON -- 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 McNeil.

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.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

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