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Posted at 7:37 AM ET, 12/15/2010

Pentagon Metro station reopens

By Associated Press and Staff Reports
Mark Berman

9:30 A.M. UPDATE:

Authorities shut down the subway station at the Pentagon and diverted hundreds of passengers in frigid temperatures early Wednesday while investigating a suspicious object that turned out to be a blinking Christmas ornament.

Trains on the Washington area Metro system were forced to bypass 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," 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," Layman said.

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

-- Associated Press

Were you affected by the delays? Post a comment below or send an e-mail to transportation@washpost.com.

9 A.M. UPDATE:

In addition to delays remaining on the Blue and Yellow lines, there are now also delays on the Orange Line to New Carrollton. An earlier situation at Dunn Loring has been resolved, but the delays remain.

This is the third consecutive morning where delays have impacted multiple Metro lines. The Blue and Orange lines, specifically, have had issues every morning so far this week.

8:55 A.M. UPDATE:

The suspicious package with the blinking light was...a Christmas ornament, reports NBC Washington. Enjoy that knowledge while you deal with the delays, commuters.

8:47 A.M. UPDATE:

The Pentagon station has been reopened, says Metro spokesman Steven Taubenkibel. You can expect residual delays on the Blue and Yellow lines for a while. The shuttle bus service is going to be lifted. The suspicious package has been deemed harmless, he said.

8:45 A.M. UPDATE:

Commenter cacjacobson posted that there were no significant delays taking the Yellow Line from Crystal City to Gallery Place. They did just pass through the Pentagon station without stopping, but saw no emergency personnel on the upper/inbound area. All of the trash bags were taken out and sitting next to the cans. Thanks for your comment, cacjacobson. Any other commuters who want to share their stories, please post in the comments below.

8:40 A.M. UPDATE:
Defense Department spokesman Capt. Darryn James says passengers are being forced to bypass the Pentagon stop and to walk or take a bus to the building, according to the Associated Press. And while it was unclear when the package was found, James told the Associated Press that train officials began making announcements at other train stations at around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday to notify passengers of the detour.

8:37 A.M. UPDATE:
Trains are passing through the stop, but the Pentagon station remains closed, according to Metro spokesman Steven Taubenkibel. He said that trains were briefly turning back before reaching the station, but they are now running trains through the station without loading or offloading passengers. There is no access to the station at this time, he said.

Shuttle bus service has been established at the Arlington Cemetery, Pentagon City and L'Enfant Plaza stations.

8:17 A.M. UPDATE:
According to Metro's most recent update, the Pentagon station remains closed and the Blue and Yellow lines are seeing significant delays. But trains are passing through, per Metro's Web site.

8:13 A.M. UPDATE:
ART buses 42 and 87 are being rerouted to Pentagon City Metro station due to the Pentagon closure.

8:10 A.M. UPDATE:
NBC Washington reports that a suspicious package with blinking lights was found in trash can and police are inspecting it.

We are still getting conflicting reports on whether or not trains are passing through the station or being turned back. Metro's last report on the situation says that trains are passing through. We have calls in to Metro as well as the Pentagon Police, and we will update you as soon as we know more.

8:03 A.M. UPDATE:
Shuttle bus service has been established between Pentagon City, Arlington Cemetery and L'Enfant Plaza, according to Metro. They also again report that trains are passing through.

7:43 A.M. UPDATE:
Now Metro is reporting that trains are turning back on the Yellow Line at the Waterfront and Pentagon City stations. Expect big delays in both directions. [UPDATE: As a commenter pointed out, the Yellow Line doesn't go to the Waterfront station. Metro's last report said that trains are still passing through the station, and we haven't gotten official confirmation that trains are being turned back anywhere.]

ORIGINAL POST:
The Pentagon Metro station has been closed due to a suspicious package. Trains are passing through the station, but not picking up or dropping off passengers. There are delays in both directions on the Blue and Yellow Lines. Shuttle bus service has been requested between Pentagon City, Arlington Cemetery, L'Enfant Plaza and the Pentagon.

By Associated Press and Staff Reports  | December 15, 2010; 7:37 AM ET
Categories:  Metro  
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Comments

???? The Yellow Line does not normally stop at Waterfront. Has it been re-routed?

Posted by: 1995hoo | December 15, 2010 7:45 AM | Report abuse

Just rode the Yellow line from Crystal City to Galley Place. Trains did in fact pass through Pentagon station. There was no significant delays when I rode in just a few minutes ago. When we passed through Pentagon station, they had all the trash bags taken out of all of the cans and sitting next to each trash can. But we saw no emergency personnel on the upper (inbound) level

Posted by: cacjacobson | December 15, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

I rode in on the Blue Line boarding at 0735 at Braddock. I disagree with the previous post - there was significant delays and considerable confusion. The conductor told us upon reaching Reagan that the train would pass through the Pentagon becuase of a package. By the time we arrived at Crystal City - two minues later - he told us all must disembark at P-City and that shuttles would be provided to various sites. All passengars disembarked at P-City to a chaotic sight and a platform that was jammed full. Then as people were trying to push and shove their way to the stairs the conductor said the train could be boarded and would pass through Pentagon Station.

Confusion abounded resulting in 3rd day in a row of 20 plus minutes late. I understand today was a security issue but better decision making and communication would have helped.

Posted by: murena47 | December 15, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

I boarded at Pentagon City at about 8:05. It was extremely crowded, and there were so many people outside the station, but I went in and got on a Yellow Line train immediately, no problem. I even got a window seat.

I couldn't actually see whether we passed through Pentagon or not, but maybe I just wasn't paying attention when we did.

Posted by: ramahoney322 | December 15, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Keep Fear Alive.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | December 15, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

I drove Ms1995hoo to work in DC because her commute uses the Blue Line from Springfield. The drive wasn't too bad until we hit Key Bridge and the Whitehurst. Seems like there was some sort of backup on K somewhere that didn't make the traffic reports. The wonders of commuting in the DC area......hopefully the trip downtown for tonight's game will be less chaotic.

Posted by: 1995hoo | December 15, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

I normally take a yellow line train out of Pentagon, but because of the closing, I was put on a shuttle to Arlington Cemetery. Not a big deal, but the bus driver didn't know the most efficient way to get there, so we had to give him directions.

Once at Arlington Cemetery, it was a short wait for the train and after it arrived it was smooth sailing from there. From the sound of it, I'm glad I didn't get a shuttle bus to Pentagon City!

Posted by: dramaqt99 | December 15, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

If the package was found around 7:15 am why at 8:30 am were they still allowing buses to disembark at the Pentagon? My bus route took us right past Pentagon City. Why didn't Metro divert the buses to any of the other metro stops?

Posted by: bdbdbdbd1 | December 15, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Because it was stupid. We might as well ask why they didn't shut down 395 and the Beltway. What if it had been a nuclear ornament?

Posted by: getjiggly1 | December 15, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

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