Suspicious device shuts down Red Line

The Red Line was shut down for 75 minutes as rush hour was beginning Thursday afternoon after a rider reported a suspicious bag on a train at Park Street Station, said MBTA Deputy Chief Kenneth Green.

The MBTA Transit Police called in a bomb squad to examine the duffle bag, which had wires protruding and canisters inside. They determined that the bag was not a bomb and reopened the station at about 4:45 p.m., Green said. It was the second time in two days that the Red Line had been shut down.

Superintendent-in-Chief Joseph O’Connor of the Transit police said explosive technicians examined the suspicious bag and determined it was not a threat.

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O’Connor said the item was found on a northbound Red Line train and service was shut down as a precaution.

“After a detailed inspection, technicians using technology concluded it was not a threat and it was removed,” said O’Connor.

The Red Line section of Park Street Station was evacuated during the incident, but the Green Line platforms were running as usual, said MBTA spokeswoman Kelly Smith said.

The incident caused moderate delays on the Ashmont and Braintree branches, the MBTA said. The T urged customers to utilize the Green and Orange lines.

Green said he has spoken to a lot of frustrated commuters.

“Two days in a row, I understand that frustration. But it is our job to keep them safe,” he said.

In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, authorities are trying to be extra vigilant.

“We’re not taking any chances,” he said.

Thursday’s delays came after the third rail near the JFK/UMass Station cracked

Wednesday, snarling service to Ashmont, MBTA officials said.

On Tuesday night, the third rail cracked on the Braintree branch, causing some delays, according to officials.

Cold weather is suspected to be a factor in the cracks, officials said.