Tom Decent -Jan 22, 2015
Police evacuated Circular Quay after reports of a suspicious package on this ferry. Photo: Channel Seven
Circular Quay has been reopened after earlier being evacuated when police were alerted to a possible suspicious object on a ferry.
Ferries, trains and buses were disrupted, and an exclusion zone was established in the area, for about 90 minutes, until police announced that the package had been deemed not suspicious.
Specialist police, three fire trucks and a rail emergency response truck were on the scene during the scare. Reports of navy vessels responding were incorrect, as they were nearby undertaking independent harbour training.
A NSW Police spokesman said he understood that no people were in the vicinity of the ferry, called the Friendship, which was docked at wharf 5B.
The whole of Alfred Street, which lines Circular Quay, was cordoned off. Commuters were redirected to Martin Place, Wynyard and George Street for alternative transport.
Trains passed through Circular Quay but did not stop there. Buses also did not stop at Circular Quay, with passengers travelling to the eastern suburbs advised to catch a bus from Martin Place. George Street and Parramatta Road buses were operating via George Street, Wynyard, instead
The Transport Management Centre said that no ferries were operating in or out of Circular Quay during the shutdown.
John and Musse Stausholm from Denmark have been on holiday in Sydney for a week. They were close to wharf 2 when the evacuation announcement was made.
"Police just came and told us to leave, just said just go just go," John said.
"We thought if it was a bomb they would move us further away from the area than we are now," said Musse.
The Danish tourists said police first cleared wharf 2 and 3 before moving down to clear the remaining wharfs.
They said they weren't worried about terrorism when they decided to come to Sydney.
"We heard about the [Martin Place] siege but we weren't worried," Musse said.
Buses are now returning to their usual routes and ferries are operating again, although they may leave from different wharves than usual. Roads have also opened around Circular Quay.
- with Lucy Cormack