San Francisco’s Union Square was evacuated on Thursday afternoon when a suspicious backpack was reported by a visitor to the station.
The backpack was discovered near the Powell and Stockton streets exit. Police were called in to investigate. The plaza is a popular tourist spot thanks to its renowned upscale shops and various dining options.
The San Francisco location was evacuated for two full hours as a bomb squad carefully examined the backpack for potential explosives and other contaminants. Police also kept vehicles out of the area until their investigation was complete. Business owners were told to “shelter in place” until the bomb squad completed their sweep of the area.
Security was tightened at Union Square as it prepares to play host to the Nike Women’s Marathon, scheduled for this weekend.
Following the evacuation and clearance residents and business owners were still worried about the commotion that resulted from the two hour closure.
Also suffering from the stop in business was the San Francisco Municipal Railway service. Buses and streetcars were unable to operate near Market and Fourth.
Police are still investigating the incident and no suspects have been named. With nothing found inside the backpack it is very likely that the item was accidentally left behind by a visitor to Union Square.
The San Francisco evacuation led to an empty one block radius around Union Square.