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Bomb scare at Union Station shuts down concourse for nearly an hour

The item was “cleared” by the Chicago police bomb squad shortly before 3 p.m.

Chicago police responded to a report of a suspicious package Aug. 18, 2020, at Union Station.
Chicago police responded to a report of a suspicious package Aug. 18, 2020, at Union Station.
Sun-Times file photo

An unfounded bomb scare at Union Station shut down half of the downtown building Tuesday afternoon while police investigated a suspicious item left in the bag of someone allegedly toting drugs and a gun.

The item was “cleared” by the Chicago police bomb squad shortly before 3 p.m., according to Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari.

The incident began an hour earlier when a suspect agreed to have his bag searched in the south concourse in the 200 block of South Canal Street, Magliari said.

When station personnel noticed suspected drugs in the bag, the suspect “bolted” out of the station, leaving the bag, according to Magliari, who said the suspect is not in custody.

The bag was searched further at the station police office, where personnel noticed an unloaded long gun and a “metallic item” that prompted them to call the city’s bomb squad, Magliari said.

As police responded, the north concourse near the police office was shut down between 2:15 p.m. and 2:55 p.m., he said.

No one was injured, according to Chicago police.