ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP) — A woman threatened to blow up a Metro train as it was pulling away from a suburban Washington station Monday morning, disrupting rush hour service and causing panicked commuters to scramble along the tracks to avoid what they feared was a bomb.
No explosive device was found, and police said the woman, who is 51 and from McLean, Va., was undergoing a mental health evaluation before any decision would be made to file criminal charges.
The woman entered the train at the Rockville station around 7:30 a.m., got on her knees and said, “You killed my family and now I’m going to kill you all,” according to Deputy Metro Transit Police Chief Ronald Pavlik. Police did not provide additional information about what she might have been referring to.
Passengers in the car used the emergency intercom to alert the conductor and opened emergency door handles. Several dozen scrambled out onto the tracks to walk to Twinbrook, the next Metro station. The power was immediately disconnected, deactivating the third rail and making the tracks safe for the walkers.
One of the cars on the train remained at the platform, and passengers on that car were able to safely exit into the station.
Rail service along a stretch of the Red Line in Montgomery County, Md., was suspended for a couple of hours.
The woman exited onto the platform and was captured on the sidewalk, outside the “Kiss and Ride” entrance to the station, after customers pointed her out to police.
The woman had a purse, but no backpack was found.
The woman’s name was not released because she had not been charged with a crime, Pavlik said. She has not made any comments or statements, he said.
She is not a U.S. citizen but is a permanent resident. Metro spokesman Dan Stessel said she had been involuntarily committed and transferred to a facility to address mental health issues.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)