- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 15, 2010

WASHINGTON (AP) — A blinking Christmas ornament in a Pentagon subway trash can caused the station to be shut down Wednesday during the morning rush hour, diverting hundreds of passengers in frigid temperatures while authorities investigated the “suspicious object.”

Trains on the Washington-area Metro system were ordered to bypass the station at the huge Defense Department headquarters after the object was discovered in the station at 7:15 a.m., said Chris Layman, spokesman for the Pentagon police force.

“Someone spotted some lights that were was blinking in a trash can,” Mr. Layman said. “We took it seriously. It was called a ‘suspicious object,’ and they came and X-rayed and inspected the item.”

Trains were forced to pass through the station without stopping, meaning passengers had to get off at a different station and walk or take a bus back to the building. The Pentagon is also a major transit point for a number of area buses, and people lined up by the hundreds as police investigated.

“We determined it was a battery-operated Christmas ornament,” Mr. Layman said.

An “all clear” was issued at 8:44 a.m.


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