Suspicious Package on MTA Bus Briefly Shuts Down Seventh Ave

By DNAinfo Staff on October 4, 2011 9:48am  | Updated on October 4, 2011 10:18am

By Olivia Scheck and Nicole Bode

DNAinfo Staff

MIDTOWN — Emergency workers evacuated a city bus near Times Square Tuesday morning after getting reports of a suspicious package aboard, police said.

Police got a call of a suspicious package aboard the MTA M7 bus, which was going southbound on Seventh Avenue, just after 9 a.m.

The bus was evacuated and left parked on the western lane of Seventh avenue just north of 49th Street, directly in front of an entrance to the N/R line.

Police roped off Seventh Avenue from 48th Street to 51st Street during the morning rush, turning away both vehicular and pedestrian traffic.

"The street is so dead, it's like 9/11," said Liz Willis, a newstand worker whose kiosk is located on the northeast corner of Seventh Avenue at 50th Street.

A member of the bomb squad unit boarded the bus and carried off what appeared to be a black backpack shortly before 10 a.m. An inspection of the bag turned up tissues, folders, a student MetroCard, a black Yankees hat.

The street was reopened by 10:05 a.m.

"I hate to be a jaded New Yorker about it, but I'm not too worried," said Dario Ballalasta, 47, a legal assistant for a theater company on 7th /48th/49th. waited at a checkpoint to be allowed to get into work. "You have to be tolerant or you just go crazy."