UPDATE: Westfield Bound Train Diverts, Police Deem Bomb Threat Unfounded
A passenger reported what he thought was a bomb threat, which ended up being a false alarm.
Update 5:12 p.m.
A reported bomb threat on a New Jersey Transit train headed toward Westfield Thursday afternoon was "completely unfounded," said NJ Transit Spokeswoman Courtney Carroll.
A passenger on the train heard someone making what he believed to be a bomb threat and informed the conductor, Carroll said. The train was diverted to Cranford to be searched by police. New Jersey Transit Police and Cranford Police responded to the scene and searched the train but did not find anything, Carroll said.
The train resumed its schedule at 4 p.m. and was running about 40 minutes late as of 5 p.m.
Patch freelancer and Westfield resident Joseph Leopold was on board the Westfield bound train when it stopped in Cranford. The train doors did not open and a conductor's announcement said the train was being held for police activity, Leopold said.
Shortly after that announcement, police boarded and surrounded the train. Police told passengers a bag was left on the train that "may or may not contain an explosive device," Leopold said.
A bomb-sniffing dog was brought onto the train and no passengers were allowed to leave. Leopold said he saw one man try to leave the train and was tackled by police.
Leopold said some passengers were "begging" to be let off the train if a bomb was on board and many called their relatives who responded to the train's platform. Some passengers and their family members outside on the platform were crying, Leopold said.
Passengers were held on the train for about 15 minutes until police deemed the bomb threat unfounded. They were then let off and the train continued on its course by 4 p.m.
A New Jersey Transit Train was diverted to Cranford shortly before 4 p.m. Thursday after a bomb threat was reported on the train, said Westfield Police Capt. Clifford Autcher.
The train was traveling westbound toward Westfield on the Raritan Valley Line.
NJ Transit Police and Cranford Police are on the scene. Police say passengers were evacuated once the train diverted to Cranford.