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Too Much Fear? Package Threat Forces Evacuation Of Dallas DART Station

Passengers Alert Authorities To Man Asking For Help Carrying Packages
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Passengers board and exit the DART public transportation system at the St. Paul Station in Dallas. (credit: DART)

Passengers board and exit the DART public transportation system at the St. Paul Station in Dallas. (credit: DART)

By Andrea Lucia, CBS 11 News

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Mockingbird DART station and the surrounding area, including the Angelika Theater, were evacuated Saturday after a police dog alerted authorities to a passenger onboard with two suspicious packages, a spokesman said.

Riders traveling through downtown stations reportedly expressed alarm after a man asked them for help carrying a duffel bag and a large box.

Bomb technicians with the Dallas Police Department determined the packages were not a threat about two hours after the evacuation, said DART spokesman Morgan Lyons.

“He was actually trying to pay people to help him get packages on and off the train,” Lyons said.

The man with the packages remained with DPD through the afternoon, though he was not arrested.

“Inconvenient for sure, but we’re all okay – and that’s what matters,” said Kim Speer, who was attempting to return home with her two children.

Red and Blue Lines were affected, and passengers were rerouted to other stops and connected with buses. The Mockingbird station was reopened around 5 p.m. Saturday.

Nationwide, transit systems have been on high alert because of fears al Quaeda could retaliate for the death of Osama Bin Laden. Here in North Texas, the NBA playoffs have had heightened security at the American Airlines Center.

The FBI is also investigating suspicious letters with a Dallas postmark found at Washington D.C. area schools. They are similar to other letters sent to D.C. schools this week containing a white powder.

One of them referenced al Qaeda .

“The customers are aware of what’s going on in the world. We’re aware of what’s going on in the world,” said Lyons.

Like the power laced letters, the package at Mockingbird station was found to be harmless.

Still, no one at all seemed to mind the dose of extra caution.

“We live in a major metroplex, so you never know what’s going to happen.  Better safe than sorry,” said Speer.
cia

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