Police: No explosives on bus in NH bomb scare

Police say case is not terrorism-related


KATHY McCORMACK
May 7, 2010 4:26PM (UTC)

No explosives were found on a Greyhound bus after a daylong bomb scare and standoff that ended peacefully, police said Friday.

David Rabitor, a police dispatcher, said early Friday that the bus had been taken from the scene, and that all nearby roads and buildings were reopened. The bus wasn't impounded.

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The odyssey involving the Maine-to-New York bus began Thursday around 11:15 a.m. with a 911 call about a man on a bus with a bomb, police said. Authorities evacuated buildings and streets and called the bus passengers out, but one man refused to leave.

The man, wearing camouflage pants without a shirt, stepped off the bus with his hands high over his head at 8:45 p.m., after hours of negotiations. He then went to his knees before soon getting up and appearing to follow orders from police to walk away from the bus.

He was taken into custody and was being questioned, but the case is not terrorism-related, Portsmouth Police Chief David Ferland said at a late-night news conference during which he refused to answer questions.

No details about the passenger were immediately released. More information was expected to be released later Friday.

Several federal agencies had responded to the scene. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Harold Ort said only that there was an "ongoing issue" and that ICE was helping the investigation.

Throughout the day, police kept the curious at a distance and gave little information of what was happening. They said they established a way to communicate with the remaining passenger but wouldn't give details.

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Passenger Danielle Everett, 20, of Poland, Maine, said she didn't see anything suspicious on the bus.

"It really wasn't any big deal," said Everett, who was met at the Portsmouth police station by her concerned father.

The all-clear was given about 11:15 p.m., when police reopened a nearby parking garage and roads and allowed those who had been evacuated from nearby buildings to go back in, Rabitor said Friday morning. It wasn't clear what time the bus was taken away by Greyhound, he said.


KATHY McCORMACK

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