Long Beach Blue Line Bomb Scare Package an Empty Basket

LONG BEACH - A suspicious package at a Metro Blue Line train station in Long Beach shut down commuter rail service for an hour and triggered the evacuation of a nearby convalescent hospital.

But authorities at the scene said the item turned out to be an empty basket.

Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokesman Rick Jager said someone noticed a shoebox-sized package on top of a ticket vending machine at the Wardlow Blue Line station shortly before 9 a.m. Monday.

The station was closed and all trains that travel the line were halted as passengers were bused around the closure, Jager said.

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Bomb Squard experts were brought in and Sheriff's deputies and Long Beach policed helped evacuate nearby residences, including a nursing home.

Jager said the package was found not to be dangerous and the station reopened after 10 a.m.

- Tracy Manzer

-- From staff and City News Service reports

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