Concern over an abandoned backpack led to the closing down of San Francisco's Union Square. The tourist plaza is renowned for upscale shops and multiple dining options, which show a temporary delay in operations as a result of the potential scare. The package that caused alarm was noticed near Powell and Stockton streets where police were alerted and responded at 11:45 a.m.
The area was closed for two hours before reopening to the public around roughly 1:45 p.m. to normal operations. During the two hour period, businesses were asked to remain in their current locations. Vehicles as well as pedestrians were also kept out of the area while the police investigated.
Though the police ultimately issued an "all-clear” claiming that there was “no merit to the suspicious device” officials had closed the 2.6-acre plaza in order to complete the investigation. The owner of the backpack, purpose for placement of the backpack, and the specifications for the contents inside the backpack have not been released at this time.
Union Square was in the middle of being prepared for the Nike Women’s Marathon, scheduled for this weekend. Though operations have reportedly resumed their normal pace, many residents in the area had been concerned about the extra commotion resulting from the situation.
Anyone know what's going on at Union Square in San Francisco? There's quite a commotion
— Eric Bieller (@ericbieller) October 17, 2013
San Francisco Municipal Railway service also suffered from the closure with buses and streetcars being unable to operate near the following streets: Market and Fourth. Fortunately, no fatalities or prolonged concerns related to this situation are being reported at this time.[Images Via Wikimedia Commons/ Courtesy of Antoine Taveneaux, Aude, and Roger Wollstadt]