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Minn. Man’s Threats Cause Amtrak Evacuation

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(credit: Jupiter Images)

(credit: Jupiter Images)

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HELENA, Mont. (AP) — An unruly passenger who was removed from an Amtrak train later made a threat that led to the train’s evacuation, an Amtrak official said Tuesday.

Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said Hussein Abdi Hassan, a 24-year-old Minnesota man, was removed from the train in Browning shortly before 8:30 p.m. Monday. While being interviewed by authorities, the Minnesota man “somehow threatened the safety of the train,” he said.

Nothing dangerous was found and the 150 passengers endured an 11-hour delay, arriving in Whitefish just before 7:30 a.m. Tuesday. The trip from Browning to Whitefish usually takes about an hour by train.

The train was stopped between Browning and East Glacier and passengers were taken to a middle school in Browning, where evacuated passengers were set up with sleeping bags and air mattresses.

Officials did not say where the man boarded the train, which travels from Chicago across northern North Dakota and Montana to Seattle and Portland, Ore.

Hassan pleaded not guilty Tuesday to two charges of felony criminal endangerment and a misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct, according to The Great Falls Tribune. His bail was set at $100,000.

The search of the passenger train held up at least 50 freight trains, said BNSF Railway spokesman Gus Melonas. BNSF property was also searched in light of what Melonas called a bomb scare.

Train traffic was shut down for about seven hours, Melonas said, and recent weather delays led some freight traffic to be delayed more than 24 hours.

The search of the train took more than eight hours. Amtrak also had to bring in a new crew because the crew on the train had reached the limit on the number of hours they could work, Magliari said.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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