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Suspicious package found on bus Downtown

| Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Port Authority bus was evacuated and police cordoned off part of Downtown this morning for an abandoned backpack that officials called a suspicious package.

Around 8:15 a.m., passengers on a 77B Frankstown bus at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Market Street told the driver that a woman left behind a backpack as she got off the bus, said Port Authority spokeswoman Judi McNeil. As a precaution, all passengers were removed from the bus and a bomb squad was called in to investigate.

"We have signs in our buses that say 'see something, say something,'" McNeil said. "The riders alerted the operator and he called police."

No description of the backpack's contents was available, McNeil said, though investigators removed it from the bus for examination. Emergency dispatchers reported both the package and the bus were "rendered safe" shortly after 10 a.m. and the road reopened to traffic.

Port Authority Police were pulling footage off of surveillance cameras on the bus in an effort to identify the woman who left the bookbag.

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