A portion of the Amtrak waiting area closed for about two hours at Pennsylvania Station while New York City and Amtrak police officers in special bio-chemical suits investigate a suspicious package on Friday, Oct. 7, 2005.
Photo credit: AP Photo/John Smock
NEW YORK -- As the city coped with news of a terrorist threat, a section of Penn Station was shut down Friday morning as emergency workers in white hazmat suits stood over what appeared to be a red suitcase.
Mike Gallagher, who identified himself as an Amtrak supervisor, said part of the concourse was closed "because of something that was found here." He declined to be more specific.
Police dogs and National Guard members also had been patrolling the transportation hub beneath Madison Square Garden due to heightened security conditions.
"We do have a police situation at Penn Station," said Amtrak spokeswoman Marice Golgoski, who declined to elaborate. "The Amtrak police and the NYPD are involved."
The main entrance at West 33rd Street and Eighth Avenue was closed off with yellow crime scene tape and a portion of the concourse above the tracks was also sealed to the public.
According to Golgoski, Amtrak was still boarding some trains and operating some ticket windows despite the problems. New Jersey Transit and the Long Island Rail Road also operate in and out of the midtown Manhattan facility.
The incident came the morning after Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced increased security on the city's subway system due to reports of a possible terrorist threat.
The newly disclosed terror threat against the New York subway has raised the specter of an attack with explosives concealed in a baby stroller and prompted an underground show of force by the nation's largest police department.
(c) 2005 Associated Press