Man in New Hampshire bus standoff surrenders

PORTSMOUTH, New Hampshire Thu May 6, 2010 11:01pm EDT

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PORTSMOUTH, New Hampshire (Reuters) - After a nine-hour standoff, the last passenger on a Greyhound bus, suspected of having a bomb onboard, got off and surrendered to police in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on Thursday.

"We do not believe this to be a terrorist-related event, but we are considering this to be a localized event only," David Ferland, Portsmouth's police chief, told reporters. He did not say if there was a bomb on board, but said authorities would provide further information at noon EDT (1600 GMT) on Friday.

The driver and 16 other passengers had left the bus hours ago, after police had surrounded it on a street in the seaside city 60 miles north of Boston. A passenger on the bus, which left Bangor, Maine, and was headed to New York, had called police to say a suspicious device was onboard.

No one was injured, though one passenger was briefly hospitalized for an unrelated medical incident.

Police had not said if the man onboard was a suspect. Ferland told reporters only that "one passenger refused to leave the bus, which caused several hours of additional negotiations."

Members of the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were on the scene along with local and state police.

Greyhound is owned by Britain's FirstGroup Plc.

(Reporting by Joel Page; additional reporting by Scott Malone and Aaron Pressman in Boston; editing by Mohammad Zargham)

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