Streetcar reopens after temporarily shutting down due to bomb threat

Posted at 6:17 PM, Sep 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-11 00:32:44-04

CINCINNATI -- The city’s streetcar has reopened after temporarily shutting down due to a bomb threat, according to a release from the City of Cincinnati.

The streetcar was shut down and all passengers were evacuated around 5:30 p.m. Saturday, just one day after its debut.

Rocky Merz, director of communications for the City of Cincinnati, said in a statement the threat was not credible and the streetcar was cleared to reopen around 7 p.m. Saturday

"Late this afternoon an anonymous call was received indicating an explosive device was planted on one of the streetcars,” Merz said in a release. “The threat was not believed to be credible. However, in an abundance of caution, all five streetcars in use were emptied and taken out of service. A bomb sniffing dog was called in to check all cars and the streetcar maintenance facility. All streetcars and the streetcar maintenance facility were cleared of any threat and are now back in service.”

Roy Fletcher was aboard one of the streetcars when the threat unfolded.

"They told us not to be alarmed and nothing like that,” Fletcher said. “They're just going to check the shuttle out and make sure it's alright."

Mandi Eaton was also a passenger on one of the streetcars Saturday afternoon.

"They made everybody get off and said that they had to do it to all of them--all the streetcars until they found out what was going on," Eaton said.

Merz said he is disappointed someone would do this at a time when so many are excited about the streetcar.

"It's really unfortunate that the actions of one or two people can have this type of effect, especially on such a fantastic weekend,” Merz said. "But that's our world today. that's our new reality and our job is to take every precaution."

This threat follows two other bomb threats this week. A bomb threat Thursday caused  Cincinnati Zoo officials to evacuate and another threat shut down a Mason High School Football game on Friday.

In all three incidents, no explosives were found.

Although all the threats have been cleared, Merz said the city is taking them seriously.

“There have been a flurry of these types of threats, and they are activity being investigated by the authorities,” Merz said. “Those that are responsible for this--we're actively looking for them. We've got some leads and if anyone has information about those. They should call us and let us know.”

Police are working with the FBI to find who is responsible for these threats. Anyone with information should call Crimestoppers at 352-3040.