ALL CLEAR: Sydney's Circular Quay Evacuated After Package Found On Ferry

Image: Peter Terlato

Circular Quay, a major transport hub on Sydney Harbour, was evacuated after a package was found on a ferry.

Specialist police were on the scene and an exclusion zone was established from about 1.30 pm. Bomb disposal squad officers also responded.

Photo: Peter Terlato.

Police said the unattended package has been deemed not suspicious late this afternoon.

“We have trained detectives and also crime scene looking at the package at the moment, but it has been deemed non suspicious,” Detective Inspector Dave Richards said.

“We don’t believe it was a threat to the public.”

Investigators are continuing to comb through CCTV footage of Circular Quay.

Roads around Circular Quay were reopened just before 3.30pm. All wharves will be reopened but travellers should expect delays.

There were unconfirmed reports the suspicious package is a bottle with liquid and nails inside and with wires hanging out, according to the ABC.

More than one such bottle has been found on a ferry coming from Balmain which berthed at Wharf 5, the reports said.

Police would not answer questions in relation to the package. However Inspector Richards said it was a ferry worker who located the package.

Circular Quay is a large ferry, rail and bus interchange, popular with tourists and city commuters, and sits between the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House.

“It’s probably not a good place to be at the moment,” a police spokesperson told Business Insider.

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley.

Security around Circular Quay has been noticeably tighter in recent months. Heavy road blocks were installed under the railway line late last year, shortly before the federal government raised the terrorism threat level based on increased terrorist chatter.

Authorities later disclosed intelligence findings that extremists had discussed kidnapping a member of the public and then executing them, with a video of the killing to be posted on YouTube.

The intelligence indicated that extremists were planning to carry out the kidnapping at Martin Place, just a short walk from Circular Quay. Martin Place is the southern boundary of Sydney’s financial hub and the scene of the siege before Christmas that resulted in the deaths of two hostages.

An officer on the scene said the operation is part of a large ongoing one police have been working on but would not comment further.

Photo: Peter Terlato.

Peter Terlato of Business Insider was on the scene a short time ago.

“It looks like there are at least 50 police officers around, and at least two helicopters hovering in the area,” he said.

“Ferries are still coming in but the people are being evacuated as soon as they arrive.

“There are still boats in the harbour but the entire Quay is shut down.

“Trains are still going through the station but are not stopping.

“All the terminals and the station have been taped off and the whole quay area is cordoned off.”

Alfred Street, which runs along the Quay, has been shut down from Phillip Street to Pitt Street.

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley.

A Hazardous materials response unit was also on the scene.

Earlier this week Australia’s police forces went on terror alert. The terrorism threat level went to high from medium.

The city’s Transport Management Centre said: “Sydney Trains and Sydney Ferries passengers are advised to allow additional travel time due to a police operation at Circular Quay.Ferries are still operating, however they are only stopping at wharves 2 and 3. Ferry tickets can be used on Sydney Trains and Sydney Buses services instead. Additionally, trains on the City Circle are not stopping at Circular Quay as a result of the police operation.”

Here are some tweets coming in from the police.

And the public.

#evacuated #circularquay #sydney #ringthealarm #QuayLockdown

A photo posted by Maya (@shortfries) on

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NOW READ: PHOTOS: Sydney’s Circular Quay Evacuated In Bomb Scare

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