Suspicious package at Hollywood/Highland station cleared, police say

HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- An all-clear was given after a suspicious package spotted on the tracks at a subway station in the heart of Hollywood shut down Metro Red Line subway service and several major streets Friday afternoon.

At about 4:30 p.m., a black backpack was reported leaning on the third rail of the tracks at the Hollywood/ Highland station, directly underneath the busy Hollywood landmark.

Universal/Studio City and Hollywood/Western stations also temporarily halted service, according to Metro officials, causing rail commuters to get stuck at stations all over the city.

Riders said they waited for an hour and a half in downtown L.A. before shuttle busses came to pick them up, and they were finally dropped off at the Universal Red Line station more than three hours later.

"Nobody gave information. There was children, there was old people. We all went, 'that's horrible,'" explained North Hollywood resident Martha Williams.

Los Angeles County sheriff's bomb squad crews evacuated the platform and stopped traffic in both directions of Hollywood Boulevard. Southbound Highland Avenue was also temporarily closed at Franklin Avenue.

In addition, famous buildings like the TCL Chinese and El Capitan theatres were evacuated while MTA technicians went into the subway tunnel with sheriff's deputies and bomb squad crews.

By 6:45 p.m., the responding bomb squad gave the all-clear, and a sheriff's deputy was seen carrying a large bag out of the station.

Officials were working to clean up the scene and traffic later resumed as normal.
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