At approximately 3:45 p.m. local time, US Capitol Police (USPC) officers "responded to a request for assistance from a commercial driver after his fare exited the vehicle without his luggage," a USCP spokesperson told Sputnik Wednesday. That began an investigation of the vehicle and the abandoned luggage. "Working with Amtrak Police, the USCP located the passenger at Union Station. The USCP's investigation cleared the vehicle and the luggage," the spokesperson said.
The associated street closures were lifted at 7:20 p.m.
All traffic into the train station was halted as police searched for the suspect, who reportedly ran into the station. Fire and bomb personnel were also on site, with eyewitnesses estimating around 20-30 emergency vehicles in total.
It's unclear whether rail or subway traffic servicing the station was also halted.
The streets around Union Station (including the one directly in front of our @NBCNews + @nbcnewschannel office near Capitol Hill) are blocked as police investigate suspicious package. pic.twitter.com/vhUuQAO5f9— Blayne Alexander (@ReporterBlayne) September 12, 2018
Capitol Police had personnel in an explosive ordinance disposal suit (a bomb suit) inspect the luggage in the street near the vehicle, which was located on Louisiana Ave, NE, near the station. One Capitol Police officer told Roll Call the car was "full of stuff," but did not specify if its contents were dangerous or illegal.
Weird DC scene: Roads all around Union Station have been shut down. Cops, fire trucks and ambulances everywhere. I’d say 20-30 pic.twitter.com/XYViBioTT6— Kate Irby (@kateirby) September 12, 2018
Road closures began just as offices on Capitol Hill near the station were letting out for the day. Staff and visitors from the US Senate, which sits across a park and plaza from Union Station, were detoured around the situation. The suspicious vehicle sits on a road between the two buildings.
Bomb suit… suspicious vehicle… Louisiana Ave…. Capitol Hill right now near Union Station pic.twitter.com/Jv80XE9DaT— Howard Mortman (@HowardMortman) September 12, 2018
Traffic backed up around the station for blocks, as several key transit arteries pass through the area closed off.