01/31/2007

Hoax packages cause alarm in Boston

The Associated Press
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BOSTON — Five suspicious packages planted throughout Boston Wednesday forced the shutdown of major roads, a bridge and a stretch of the Charles River.

Authorities concluded the objects were not bombs.

"It's a hoax — and it's not funny," said Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.

Police said four calls, all around 1 p.m., reported suspicious devices at the Boston University Bridge and the Longfellow Bridge, which both span the Charles River, at a Boston street corner and at the Tufts-New England Medical Center.

The package near the Boston University bridge was found attached to a structure beneath the span, where it crosses the Massachusetts Turnpike, authorities said.

Subway service across the Longfellow Bridge between Boston and Cambridge was briefly suspended, and Storrow Drive was closed as well.

Another device was found earlier in the day at a subway station, forcing a temporary shutdown of Interstate 93.

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