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Madrid's Atocha Station Evacuated After 'Suicide Bomber' Hoax

02/01/2015 11:09 GMT | Updated 02/01/2015 11:59 GMT

Madrid's central Atocha train station has been evacuated after a bomb threat but police have reported that a man who claimed he was a suicide bomber was not, in fact, carrying explosives.

Police evacuated the entire station during the morning rush hour and officers searched the train carriages for the suspected explosive.

Sources told Spanish news agency Efe passengers were initially concerned after spotting a man leaving a backpack on a train, and called authorities.

When the man was apprehended, he "loudly threatened to commit suicide a few metres before the train pulled into Atocha, which led some of the passengers to activate the emergency brake stopping the train about 500 meters from the entrance to the station."

Passengers were evacuated from the station in the Spanish capital.

But Europa Press quoted police as saying the incident was a false alarm, with only a bottle of water found inside the rucksack

The agency said the man, believed to be of North African origin, has been arrested.

The railway station was the scene of the 2004 bombings by al Qaeda-inspired Islamists which killed 191 people during the morning commute, and injured more than 1,800.