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Suspicious Package Forces Evacuations Near Port Authority Terminal

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The area around the Port Authority Bus Terminal was briefly evacuated Wednesday evening after a suspicious package was found.

The suspicious package was found in the area of 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue, officials told CBS2. Eighth Avenue was shut down at the scene beginning just before 6:30 p.m.

CBS2 spoke to Michael Gonzales, who claimed he saw a mystery man leave the package near the New York Times building.

"He had a dark trench coat -- brown trench coat -- very scruffy in the face; a beard," Gonzalez said.

The entrances and exits to the Port Authority Bus Terminal at Eighth Avenue, 40th Street and 41st Street were also all closed. During the emergency, commuters were asked to use the entrances at Ninth Avenue and 42nd Street.

Portions of the area were also evacuated.

"I've never been so nervous in my entire life," said Nick Theodore of Hillsboro, New Jersey.

After a little more than an hour, the package was cleared as not a threat and the area reopened. Some of the highly-trained officers who responded were among 200 recently trained in "critical response" in the event of terrorism and other such emergencies.

They will also be out in force on Thanksgiving Day.

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