Suspicious Bag Shuts Down Seoul Subway Station

A report of a suspected bomb at Gangnam District Office Station on the Bundang Subway Line in Seoul on Monday led to the station being closed down as police, firemen and soldiers rushed to the scene. But it turned out to be a false alarm.

Police said a passenger found a black travel bag abandoned on the platform for trains bound for Wangsimni at around 2 p.m. and raised the alert on an intercom nearby.

Operator KORAIL prevented trains from stopping while giving the alert over the public address system.

An explosive disposal squad from the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, military personnel, and firemen blocked all entrances to the station and checked the bag.

An explosive disposal squad member checks a bag suspected of containing a bomb at Gangnam District Office Station in Seoul on Monday. /Courtesy of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency An explosive disposal squad member checks a bag suspected of containing a bomb at Gangnam District Office Station in Seoul on Monday. /Courtesy of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency

Around 3:10 p.m., the disposal squad checked the bag with an X-ray inspection device and found thin wires that looked like they might be connected to a detonator.

KORAIL then halted the entire operation of the Bundang Line and Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit Corp. also diverted trains on Subway Line No. 7, which pass the station.

Around 4:20 p.m., the squad covered the bag with an explosion-proof surge protector and prepared to blow it up with a water jet. When it did not explode, the squad carefully opened the bag only to find a dozen pieces of clothes and wire hangers which they had mistaken for a circuit.

Security forces left around 4:50 p.m and operations resumed.

"A surveillance camera video from the platform shows that a presumably elderly man left the bag there and walked toward the transit corridor for Subway Line No. 7," a police officer said.

englishnews@chosun.com / Mar. 18, 2014 09:26 KST