7061 East Pleasant Valley Road, Independence, Ohio 44131 • (216) 241-2630 / Fax: (216) 241-6516

Membership
Benefits
News and Issues
Departments
Information
Secretary-Treasurer
Merchandise
Communications
FELA
Events
Links
User Info

L.A. train station shut after explosive device taken

(The following story by Stuart Pfeifer appeared on the Los Angeles Times Staff website on May 10.)

LOS ANGELES — A man believed to be a transient walked off with a suitcase containing a component of an explosive device during a Sheriff's Department training exercise Wednesday at Union Station, causing officials to close the busy downtown transit hub for 90 minutes and snarling commutes for hundreds of Amtrak, Metrolink and MTA passengers.

Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies had placed the suitcase in a public area of the historic downtown train station so that dogs could practice searching for explosives. A man described by witnesses as a transient walked off with the suitcase about noon. He was not found, despite a search that involved about 100 deputies, Sheriff's Cmdr. Dan Finkelstein said.

The device by itself did not pose a threat to the public, Finkelstein said.

Sheriff's officials closed Union Station while deputies and Los Angeles police officers searched for the man. About 200 Amtrak passengers were forced to wait in two trains during the station closure, said Amtrak spokeswoman Vernae Graham.

Metrolink and Metropolitan Transit Authority trains were not allowed into Union Station during the closure, affecting hundreds of other passengers. Metrolink trains ran behind schedule much of the afternoon, said rail system spokeswoman Denise Tyrrell.

Also inconvenienced were dozens of patrons who had planned to dine at Traxx, the popular restaurant inside the station. Traxx general manager Melanie Makaiwi said she called about 45 people who had made reservations to let them know about the restaurant closure.

"We wrote the day off" as a loss, she said.

The Sheriff's Department trains its explosives-sniffing dogs four hours a week, often in public places, to keep their skills sharp, Finkelstein said.

The department will investigate how someone was able to take the suitcase without deputies noticing.

It was the first time explosive material had been lost during the department's trainings, Finkelstein said.

Makaiwi said she found a bright side of the station closure.

"For me, it was great. I actually got some stuff done today. It gave me a couple of hours to catch up," she said. "Thanks, Sheriff's Department."

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Like us on Facebook at
Facebook.com/BLETNational

Sign up for BLET News Flash Alerts

© 1997-2020 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen

 


Decertification Helpline
(216) 694-0240

National Negotiations

Sign up for BLET
News Flash Alerts

DAILY HEADLINES

Union President doesn’t believe ‘SEPTA is taking it seriously enough’ after 13 employees test positive for COVID-19
Coronavirus sidelines 32 employees at NJ Transit
UP, CSX warn of coronavirus’ potential impact on financial returns
CN, CP confident of their post-pandemic response
FreightCar America temporarily suspends production at Alabama facility
COVID-19 concerns temporarily close several suburban train stations used by Metra riders
MBTA starts temperature checks on workers
Riders say reduced schedules at NJ Transit and PATH make it too crowded to social distance
NS to announce Q1 2020 results on April 29
Man shot, killed aboard SEPTA train near Philadelphia
NS faces suit by former conductor who stepped into a sinkhole
Q&A: Comparison of benefits under Railroad Retirement and Social Security
Coronavirus Relief Act impacts railroad workers
Get the latest labor news from the Teamsters

More Headlines