Virginia: Yemeni man yells that he has a bomb, forces evacuation of train


Reports of a bomb on an Amtrak train in Emporia forced hundreds of people onboard to evacuate.

A number of streets were shut down overnight around where the Amtrak train stopped in the middle of town. Hundreds of passengers on board the train bound from New York down to Florida were forced to evacuate after a man on board said he had a bomb.

The nearly 300 passengers are rushed off the train around 10:30 Saturday night and taken by bus to Greensville Elementry School.

"I can't go to my grandmother she's sick and I gotta go take care of her and we're here, I'm really upset about that," says passenger Takima Alexander.

Many of the passengers were children traveling with family to Disney World in Orlando.

While the passengers were at the school, the State Police Bomb Squad scoured the train. Investigators tell 8News a 23-year-old Yemeni man named Basel Saleh Salem Kassem got into an argument with another man on the train and then yelled that he had a bomb.

"Allegedly he was causing a disturbance on the train and the conductor attempted to move him to another part of the train, that's when he said he had a bomb and the bomb was in his bag" says Emporia Police Chief Bernard Richardson.

Around 2am the bomb squad determined the threat was a hoax. The Yemeni man was taken into custody by the FBI and is facing a felony charge of making a threat on a public conveyance. The hundreds of passengers were finally able to continue on their way.

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