Teenager, Not Bomb, to Blame

Train evacuation caused delays, road closures
While East Hampton Village police stood guard at the East Hampton train station Sunday morning, Shelwyn Hendy, a Long Island Rail Road conductor talked to Teddy Montalvo, a passenger evacuated from the train after the Metropolitan Transportation Authority received a bomb threat. Durell Godfrey

A bomb scare Sunday morning aboard a westbound train from Montauk caused delays on the tracks that lasted throughout the day, as well as road closures, until a police search found all was safe. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority later attributed the report to a “misunderstanding.”

Sometime after the train pulled out of the Montauk station, stopped in Amagansett at 7:23 a.m., and arrived in East Hampton Village, M.T.A. police were alerted to a possible threat. Suffolk police reported a call from a teenaged girl that “her boyfriend had said something about a bomb on that train specifically,” according to Salvatore Arena, an M.T.A. spokesman. It was scheduled to depart East Hampton at 7:28 a.m., but was held at the station.

There were 65 people aboard the train, which was evacuated. M.T.A. police are not stationed locally, and at 7:50 a.m. the authority requested assistance from East Hampton Village police until officers could get to the South Fork.

Volunteers with the East Hampton Fire Department were asked to stand by at the firehouse, just in case. Chief Gerard Larsen said a few extra officers were called in.

For about two hours, passengers waited on the curb. Railroad Avenue was shut down. Some of the train cars extended onto the crossing at Newtown Lane, which was also shut down, from Osborne Lane north. Traffic congestion in the village continued for about two hours.

With only one track, train service was suspended east of Speonk.

M.T.A. police arrived with a bomb-sniffing dog. Nothing suspicious was found. The train was released just before 10 a.m., about the time it had been scheduled to arrive in Jamaica, Queens. Delays on the Long Island Rail Road’s Montauk line continued into the afternoon, Mr. Arena said.

The M.T.A. investigated the report further and ultimately concluded it had been a “misunderstanding,” he said. “There was no evidence that allowed them to arrest anyone.” While the incident may have caused some inconvenience, Mr. Arena said the M.T.A. had to “err on the side of caution” and investigate fully.