NBC News
updated 12/30/2004 1:48:48 PM ET 2004-12-30T18:48:48

Authorities who isolated a transit bus Thursday after an anonymous caller threatened to detonate a bio-terror device on board on Virginia's Norfolk Naval Station said the incident was a hoax.

Naval officials at the Pentagon said an anonymous threat phoned in to Norfolk police, authorities on the base and officials at the Hampton Road Transit agency said that a bomb had been planted on a bus en route to the base.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that in a 9:36 a.m. call to police, the caller said, "HRT-936 everyone dies from toxic substance."

Shortly after the calls, a transit bus with the serial number 936 approached Gate 2 at the naval base and was diverted to a nearby parking area outside the fenced perimeter of the base. A second bus that arrived at the base around the same time also was diverted to the parking area as a precaution.

Three passengers and the drivers of the buses were evacuated.

A robotic device examined was used to examine the buses and found nothing on board, the officials said.

The Norfolk Naval Station is the world’s largest naval base and home to many of the air carriers in the U.S. fleet.

NBC's Carl Rochelle and Pete Williams contributed to this report.


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