San Francisco’s Union Square was evacuated on an emergency basis at around 11:45 a.m. on Thursday. The cause for the emergency evacuation was a suspicious backpack which had been left in the upmarket tourist plaza.
The backpack was spotted by passers-by near to Powell and Stockton streets. When the police arrived at the scene they evacuated people and asked businesses to cease trading for around two hours. Union Square was back to normal by 2.p.m.
Having closed the plaza, which measures around 2.6 acres, the police issued an “all-clear” and saying that there was “no merit to the suspicious device.”
It is also still not clear who the owner of the backpack is or what their reason for leaving it in the square was.
San Francisco was gearing up for the Nike Woman’s Marathon which is scheduled to take place this weekend.
The San Francisco Municipal Railway service was also suspended during the evacuation. Trains and streetcars were told to halt their services while authorities checked the suspicious backpack.
People immediately took to Twitter to report the breaking evacuation news and to post pictures:
— Barracuda Brigade (@BarracudaMama) October 18, 2013
— Breaking News (@BreakingNews) October 17, 2013
The Nike Woman’s Marathon is slated to go ahead as planned this Sunday and other than the disruption caused by the evacuation things have returned to normal in San Francisco’s Union Square.