Thursday, May 6, 2010

Police Evacuate NY-Bound Bus, FAA Orders 3-Mile No-Fly Zone - UPDATED

UPDATE, 8 :30 PM EDT - Portsmouth, NH - More than eight hours after police received a 911 call about a possible explosive device on a Greyhound bus, they remain in a standoff with the last remaining passenger.... Police will not say who the remaining passenger is, or why he remains on the bus. He has been identified as a man wearing camouflage pants.... No law enforcement personnel have been on the bus.

(Earlier Reports): Portsmouth, NH - Developing: FBI, local police with a SWAT team and bomb squad closed off streets around a stopped Greyhound bus after a passenger called 911 to report a suspicious device at around 11:15 a.m. EDT. Nearby businesses were evacuated. The FAA even ordered a 3-mile no-fly zone around the area. (Think about that: A no-fly zone for a bomb in a bus? What kind of explosive do the authorities suspect it is?)  Sources told CBS station WBZ-TV that a man on the bus was talking on a cell phone in what sounded like Arabic and English when a woman reportedly heard him say something about "a bomb is on the bus."

WMUR-TV 9 reports that passengers disembarked just minutes ago (around 1:45 p.m. local), with hands held up over their heads. Video news updates available from here here and here. There are conflicting reports as to the Greyhound's route. Most news outlets are saying it was en route to New York City from Portland, Maine. The New York Post reports that it came from Bangor, Maine and had stopped in Portland before arriving in Portsmouth. The NYPost also reports that "restrictions were put on air travel in the area, which kept television helicopters from flying overhead." (Again, what kind of explosive would cause the authorities to keep local air space clear?)