- Associated Press - Friday, June 20, 2014

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (AP) - A suspicious object that caused delays of more than two hours Friday on one of the nation’s busiest commuter railroads turned out to be a school project, police said.

The rectangular box with hands like a clock and a cartoonish face was found near dawn on the sidewalk of an overpass in Fairfield, and service for Amtrak and the Metro-North Railroad was suspended as police investigated.

Fairfield police said the object had been left and forgotten by a seventh-grade student at the nearby Tomlinson Middle School.

“The child inadvertently left the item in the vicinity of the bridge with the intent of returning to retrieve the school project,” police said in a written statement. “It has been determined that this was an unfortunate accident and there was no malicious intent.”

The student told his family he left the project behind while shuffling things in his backpack, but they did not realize he left it near the railroad, said police Lt. James Perez. He said the student was “understandingly upset of the outcome.”

Metro-North service was suspended in both directions at about 6:15 a.m., and service resumed more than two hours later after police determined there was no threat, railroad spokesman Aaron Donovan said. Fairfield police said a state police bomb unit X-rayed the box and found it was empty.

Metro-North serves 281,000 riders a day in New York and Connecticut and is the nation’s second-busiest commuter railroad.

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