Riders were evacuated at the same busy midtown subway station twice on Tuesday after a fire broke out on the tracks, then a suspicious device was discovered just minutes later, according to officials.
Flames shot up from the tracks at the 42nd Street-Port Authority station on Eighth Avenue around 6:30 p.m., according to police, with smoke filling the air as commuters were trying to get home. Trains on the A/C/E line bypassed the station in both directions for a time, as the FDNY responded to what was later determined to be a trash fire.
Less than a half hour later, a suspicious device was reported at the very same station. Officers once again evacuated the hundreds of people who were underground, as the smoke from the earlier trash fire still hung in the air.
Once the station was emptied, K9s and the bomb squad stepped in to investigate. Officers checked any suspicious object in sight, like a black bag left on top of a trash bin. About an hour later, the all-clear was given. Police said that the suspicious device was a vape smoking device.
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Riders were let back in after the last of the NYPD's evidence team left the station. Trains service at the station resumed shortly after.