Suspicious Packages Found at Fulton Street Subway Station in New York City Causes Delays

Two suspicious packages found at a New York City subway station have been deemed safe, but public transportation delays should still be expected.

Early Friday morning commuters were at the center of police activity after two pressure cookers or rice cookers were found at the Fulton Street subway station in downtown Manhattan. Trains halted to run while the New York City Police Department investigated to ensure the safety of the city's residents. The station, which is located near the World Trade Center, was evacuated.

Fortunately, the police department's bomb squad determined that the discovered pressure cookers were not explosives. Out of an abundance of caution, officers were sent to search other nearby stations and the department informed public transportation users that there would be delays in service.

Both the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), the organization responsible for the management of the subway system, and the police department advised people to avoid the area. The MTA also posted a list of delays on its website. Along with delays as a result of the suspended train service, 2, 3, 4, 5, A, C, J and Z trains would not be stopping at the Fulton Street station. During a press conference around 10:00 a.m. EDT, the public was informed that all service had resumed at Fulton Station except for the 2 and 3 trains, which still were bypassing the station.

nyc subway fulton street delays
A subway train pulls into the Canal Street Station as a woman uses her mobile phone on the platform on February 5 in New York City. On Friday, service was delayed after two suspicious packages were found at the Fulton Street subway station. Gary Hershorn/Getty

Instead of taking one of those trains, the MTA advised travelers to hop on the N, Q or R train if possible. The closest N,Q or R stops to Fulton Street are the Cortland Street station, located a few blocks away and City Hall, located about a quarter of a mile away.

In 2016, Ahmad Rahimi abandoned two pieces of luggage filled with pressure cooker bombs on 23rd and 27th street in the New York City neighborhood of Chelsea. One of them exploded, injuring almost three dozen people, although none of them seriously. The other bomb failed to explode and police responded to the scene after a civilian spotted it and called 911.

nypd pressure cooker fulton street subway station
Police found two suspicious packages at the Fulton Street Subway Station but fortunately, they were declared safe. NYPD

Rahimi was apprehended in New Jersey and in February 2018, he was sentenced to multiple life terms. The judge claimed that the person in the courtroom didn't seem to match the personality of someone who could commit terroristic acts, but imposed additional life sentences on top of the one mandatory one. Prosecutors claimed Rahimi showed no remorse for his actions and deserved the sentence the judge handed down.

Pressure cookers were also used to create the bombs that exploded at the Boston Marathon. Three people, including an 8-year-old boy, were killed and several hundred others were injured.

Police reviewed video footage and saw a man, described as white in his 20s or 30s with dark hair, place the cookers in the subway station. While he's a person of interest and officers would like to speak with him, commissioner John Miller said he would stop very short of calling the man a suspect.

"Because of the timing and the placement and the items, we're carrying this right now as a hoax device, that's the investigative category but again we would have to identify him, find him, talk to him because we need more information from him," Miller said.

This article has been updated with additional information from a morning press conference.