Bomb squad blows up suspicious package in New London; streets reopening

Police examine the remains after the state police bomb squad blew up a suspicious bag left near the Greyhound bus station in New London this morning.
Police examine the remains after the state police bomb squad blew up a suspicious bag left near the Greyhound bus station in New London this morning. Sean D. Elliot/The Day

New London -- The state police bomb squad blew up a suspicious package at 12:31 p.m. that had been found near the Greyhound bus station.

The explosion could be heard around the downtown area.

The train station and State and Bank streets, which had been closed, are reopening, but the area around Water Street will remain closed for now.

Employees who had been evacuated from Two Union Plaza are being let back in. The municipal parking garage has also reopened.

Police had moved spectators back as far as the corner of State Street and Eugene O'Neill Drive during the investigation.

At 11:36 the state police bomb squad had approached the package to x-ray it. Two dogs from the Navy arrived on the scene shortly before 11 a.m. and could be seen searching the area, including the parking garage.

Beginning at about 10 a.m. police had closed several streets including Atlantic, Water and a portion of State Street near Water Street. Traffic on Bank Street was being rerouted through Tilley Street.

Amtrak spokesman Cliff Cole said New London police notified Amtrak police of the suspicious package. Five trains were delayed during the investigation, he said.

Cole said there were no other delays along the Northeast Corridor.

Greyhound spokeswoman Bonnie Bastian said the bus company closed its New London ticket agency on April 28 and no longer staffs the office. Bastian said the bus station functions purely as a bus stop.

Bastian said no Greyhound employees were working at the stop when the area around Union Station was closed off.

Chip Green, who works at Green Ink Marketing and Communications in Two Union Plaza, said he heard from a co-worker that police had ordered the office building evacuated.

"We came outside and saw police cordoning off the street," Green said.

UBS, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Suisman Shapiro law firm have offices in Two Union Plaza.

Muddy Waters Café owner Barry Neistat said police entered the downtown coffeehouse and asked that no one leave the building.

“We had about 20 people here,” he said.

The contents of the purse after it was blown up: a wallet, a remote control and other items.
The contents of the purse after it was blown up: a wallet, a remote control and other items. Sean D. Elliot/The Day
New London police block off streets and the Parade after a suspicious package was found near the Greyhound bus station.
New London police block off streets and the Parade after a suspicious package was found near the Greyhound bus station. Sean D. Elliot/The Day
Two dogs from the Navy head out to check the area where a suspicious bag was left.
Two dogs from the Navy head out to check the area where a suspicious bag was left. Sean D. Elliot/The Day
A member of the Connecticut State Police bomb squad prepares to x-ray a suspicious bag left near the Greyhound bus terminal in New London this morning.
A member of the Connecticut State Police bomb squad prepares to x-ray a suspicious bag left near the Greyhound bus terminal in New London this morning. Sean D. Elliot/The Day
A member of the state police bomb squad approaches the suspicious bag.
A member of the state police bomb squad approaches the suspicious bag. Sean D. Elliot/The Day
Downtown workers and others wait at the corner of State Street and Eugene O'Neill Drive while police investigate a suspicious package.
Downtown workers and others wait at the corner of State Street and Eugene O'Neill Drive while police investigate a suspicious package. Sean D. Elliot/The Day
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