Train Stations Reopen In Fairfield After Package Deemed Not Dangerous

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Lt. James Perez of the Fairfield Police Department updates the media on the suspicious package found Friday near the Fairfield train station.
Lt. James Perez of the Fairfield Police Department updates the media on the suspicious package found Friday near the Fairfield train station. Photo Credit: Alissa Smith
Fairfield police are blocking the Unquowa entrance to the train station on Friday morning on the report of a suspicious package.
Fairfield police are blocking the Unquowa entrance to the train station on Friday morning on the report of a suspicious package. Photo Credit: Alissa Smith

8:30 a.m. update: FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- Trains are running again, stations are reopened and traffic is allowed over the Unquowa Road bridge after Fairfield police determined a suspicious package in the area was just an empty box. 

"Sorry for the inconvenience," Police Chief Gary MacNamara said at about 8:20 a.m. Friday, about three hours after the incident began.  

"Service has resumed through Fairfield station. Police have completed their investigation. Residual delays of 1 to 2 hours can be expected," Metro-North Railroad ‏said via Twitter @MetroNorth at about 8:30 a.m.

Commuters were being allowed to park in the stations, and trains were running through the area by then. 

Original story: FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- The suspicious package stopping all Metro-North and Amtrak trains from running through Fairfield on Friday morning was found by a town worker on the Unquowa Road bridge that carries cars and pedestrians over the train tracks, police said. 

At about 5:30 a.m., a Fairfield DPW employee driving to work on the Unquowa Road bridge looked to his left and saw what he believed to be a suspicious package, Fairfield Police Lt. James Perez said.

The worker contacted police, who agreed it was suspicious and closed down the bridge over the tracks, Perez said. 

"He did exactly what he was told to do: If you see something, say something," Perez said. 

"It might be a school project," Perez said when asked to describe the package. It could be a facsimile of the Empire State Building, he said. 

The MTA sent in a bomb-sniffing dog, but the handler was hesitant to take the dog close to the scene out of an "abundance of caution," Perez said. 

In addition to stopping the trains, police also closed all the train stations in town: Fairfield Metro, Fairfield and Southport.

"I know how inconvenient it is for commuters, but we would never put convenience over safety," Perez said. 

Metro-North and Amtrak service is stopped and not traveling through Fairfield in either direction due to the issue, a Metro-North spokesman confirmed.

Police officers at the scene are advising train riders to go to Stamford to get on Metro-North. 

The Fairfield Police Department is leading the investigation and awaiting the arrival of the Connecticut State Police bomb squad, Perez said.

The state bomb squad will X-ray the box to determine what it is, he said. If it is a bomb, they will determine the best course of action, possibly detonating it in place, Perez said. 

Metro-North offered this advisory at about 8 a.m.:

"New Haven Line service continues to be temporarily delayed for trains traveling through Fairfield station. Police Special Units are on site investigating a suspicious package. We expect delays of 1 to 2 hours at this time. Please listen for announcements at your station."

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