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Suspicious item prompts San Diego transit shutdown

(The Associated Press circulated the following article on September 20.)

SAN DIEGO -- Streets were closed and all train and trolley traffic into San Diego's second-busiest transit center was halted during Wednesday morning's rush hour because of a suspicious item found in a planter, authorities said.

Train and trolley service into the Old Town Transit Center just north of downtown was suspended and the area was evacuated just before 8 a.m. after a security guard alerted police to a cylindrical object in a planter outside the station.

Bomb squad members were called to investigate the item, which appeared to be a handheld drying device, according to San Diego Fire-Rescue Department spokesman Maurice Luque.

Local trolley and commuter rail service was restored about 10 a.m. after being diverted to other stations, according to Metropolitan Transit System spokesman Rob Schupp. He said tens of thousands of passengers commute on routes that pass through the Old Town station each day.

Amtrak trains were held downtown, south of the transit center, or sent back to a station in northern San Diego County, until the tracks reopened, according to spokeswoman Karina Romero.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

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