News

Package That Affected Metro-North Trains In Fairfield Was School Project

Police said a suspicious package (pictured) found near the Fairfield station and caused up to two hour delays on Metro-North's New Haven Line turned out to be a school project. (credit: Fairfield Police Department)

Police said a suspicious package (pictured) found near the Fairfield station and caused up to two hour delays on Metro-North’s New Haven Line turned out to be a school project. (credit: Fairfield Police Department)

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FAIRFIELD, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) – Fairfield police say the suspicious package that caused delays of up to two hours on Metro-North’s New Haven Line turned out to be a school project.

The rectangular box with hands like a clock and a cartoonish face, which resembles the character “Bender” from the animated television series “Futurama,” was found near dawn on the sidewalk of an overpass in Fairfield.

Service for Amtrak and the Metro-North Railroad was suspended as police investigated.

Fairfield police said the object had been left and forgotten by a seventh-grade student at the nearby Tomlinson Middle School.

“The child inadvertently left the item in the vicinity of the bridge with the intent of returning to retrieve the school project,” police said in a statement. “It has been determined that this was an unfortunate accident and there was no malicious intent.”

The student told his family he left the project behind while shuffling things in his backpack, but they did not realize he left it near the railroad, said police Lt. James Perez. He said the student was “understandingly upset of the outcome.”

Metro-North service was suspended in both directions at about 6:15 a.m., and service resumed more than two hours later after police determined there was no threat, railroad spokesman Aaron Donovan said.

Fairfield police said a state police bomb unit X-rayed the box and found it was empty.

“We clear thousands of suspicious package calls per year, so this does come up fairly often,” Donovan told WCBS 880.

Train service between Stamford and Grand Central terminal was not affected.

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(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)