San Francisco evacuated on Thursday in and around Union Square after a call reporting a suspicious package was received by the San Francisco Police Department at 11:50 a.m. The San Francisco evacuation of Union Square was lifted after the police bomb squad took the suspicious package into evidence and discovered that it was no threat, reported the San Francisco Chronicle on Oct. 17, 2013.
The San Francisco Union Square evacuation was issued after an officer discovered an unattended suspicious-looking backpack on the Stockton Street side of the park at 11:47 a.m.
Following the discovery of the suspicious package, the San Francisco evacuation included closing off Union Square, issuing a shelter-in-place order for nearby businesses, and closing off streets in the area.
The San Francisco evacuation order of the area was lifted at 1:35 p.m., after the bomb squad could determine that the suspicious package did not contain any explosive device.
Thursday’s San Francisco evacuation of Union Square was a grim reminder of the Boston Marathon bombing. “Among those forced from the square were runners picking up their bibs for Sunday's Nike Women's Marathon. The event's tent was set up in the square.”
One of Sunday’s marathon participants mentioned that Thursday’s evacuation of San Francisco’s Union Square was a wake-up call. “I hadn't worried about it until they mentioned this bomb threat. “It's going to be crazy to see what they do for the marathon. ... It's scary to think of the possibility, especially because it's supposed to be a positive experience."
Officer Albie Esparza, who is a police spokesman, said that the evacuation of San Francisco’s Union Square was a sign that bomb threats and suspicious packages are taken seriously by the San Francisco Police Department.
"It's better to be safe than sorry. We take these incidents really seriously."