A suspicious package lying against the third rail of the Metro Red Line in the heart of Hollywood prompted city officials to shut down a major segment of Hollywood Blvd, wreaking havoc for commuters on Friday at 4:30 p.m.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s bomb squad was summoned to investigate the package. Consequently, they shut down the Hollywood station on the corner of Hollywood Blvd and Highland. Moreover, for safety precautions nearby stations at Universal/Studio City and Hollywood/Western were also temporarily closed, reported ABC 7.
Some two hours later, shortly before 7 p.m., bomb squad officials determined that the “black backpack” was not a threat and a member of the sheriff’s department was seen carrying a large bag out of the station.
Unfortunately for the rush hour commuters, the scare set off a commuting nightmare for those on the Metro Line as well as surrounding freeways. People told ABC they waited for well over an hour in the downtown area before the Metro Department send shuttle buses to transport them to the Universal Red Line station. The spectacular traffic jams caused the Metro riders to be delayed more than three hours.
“Nobody gave information. There was children, there was old people. We all went, ‘that’s horrible,'” said Martha Williams who lives in North Hollywood.
Besides the streets being jammed with cars, the sidewalks filled up as well. Several buildings were evacuated, including the landmark TCL Chinese and El Capitan theaters.