Boston street evacuated after backpacks left near marathon finish line

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Backpack left unattended on Boylston Street. (WBZ-TV)

BOSTON (CBS/CNN) –Hours after Tuesday’s anniversary event, police bomb squad investigators were checking out two backpacks near the marathon finish line and using a robot to make sure one of the bags was safe.

The other bag had been cleared, Boston Police spokesman Mike McCarthy said, although it was not clear which of the two bags was still under scrutiny.

WBZ-TV photographers on scene say they saw a man with the backpack screaming “Boston Strong” before police cleared everyone from the area.

At about 6:50 p.m., two bags were found, McCarthy said. One bag was unattended, he said, while the other one was worn by an individual.

“They came across an individual. He’s the one we’re the most concerned about right now. He was walking down the street. He got very vocal. He was yelling something,” McCarthy said.

Police officers confronted him, escorted him from the area and cordoned off the area. The man was taken into custody for questioning, McCarthy said.

“It appears as though he has some problems,” McCarthy said. “He’s an emotionally disturbed person. They’re interviewing him now.”

An FBI spokeswoman said the agency was at the scene assisting police.

Shortly after the backpacks were found, the MBTA Greenline was shut down.

Earlier Tuesday, police responded to a report of a possible pipe bomb near Boston’s South Station. Investigators determined it wasn’t an explosive, but rather a high-voltage fuse that didn’t pose a threat, state officials said.

Authorities seemed to be bracing for the possibility of more bomb scares.

“To ease fears & concerns relating to backpacks,” Boston Police said in a Twitter post Tuesday night that they were “discouraging their use” at this years marathon.

One year ago, three people died, and more than 260 people were injured when two bombs exploded near the finish line of the marathon.

Earlier in the day, Vice President Joe Biden joined survivors, and victim’s families for a moment of silence at 2:49 p.m., the same time the bombs exploded a year ago.

Read more on WBZ-TV, here. 

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