PALMDALE – The Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA) estimates three hundred bus passengers were affected by a bomb threat which closed the Palmdale Transportation Center Thursday. The center was shut down 4:47 p.m. just as commuter buses began arriving in Palmdale from Los Angeles.
AVTA officials responded by transporting passengers to the recreation center at Desert Sands Park on Technology Drive and 3rd Street East. Commuter passengers were unable to retrieve their vehicles as the transportation center was under containment by Los Angeles County Sheriff Deputies who were waiting for the Sheriff’s Bomb Squad to arrive from Los Angeles.
The crisis forced Metrolink trains to stop in Acton at the Vincent Grade Station. As part of a coordinated response, AVTA buses were relied on to transport Metrolink passengers from Acton to Lancaster.
“Coordinated responses are part of all our emergency preparedness plans,” stated AVTA Executive Director Julie Austin. “Our initial response was to ensure our passengers were safe and then we contacted Metrolink officials to see how we could help bring valley residents home from Acton.”
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Bomb Squad responded to the scene at around 7:30 p.m. Thursday. A robot was used to explode the device which turned out to be a CO2 cartridge with wires hanging from it. Sheriff’s deputies say the device was not a real explosive but it was designed to appear that way.
The Palmdale Transportation Center was re-opened at 8:00 p.m. Thursday and AVTA passengers were allowed in to retrieve their vehicles.
(Information via press release from the Antelope Valley Transit Authority.)