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A hand grenade-shaped belt buckle in the suitcase of a train passenger caused major disruptions on Wednesday in the two major Spanish cities, causing evacuation of stations before the police declared the incident a false alarm.
An official from the Spanish National Police said the alarm was over after the agents in Madrid confirmed that the suspicious object was not dangerous in the suitcase of a passenger traveling on a high-speed train from Barcelona.
The official was not allowed to be mentioned in media reports.
"Everything is back to normal," said the National Police in a short tweet in which she explained that interruptions in the mainline stations and S-Bahn stations in the Spanish capital were due to a false alarm.
In search of the capital, the police in the second largest city in the country, Barcelona, were searched for high-speed trains and train tracks after the security scanner of the central Sants station had identified an object in the form of a possible explosive in a suitcase.
Police in the Catalonia region tweeted a picture of the scanned case and said the object turned out to be a belt buckle.
When asked why the suspicious case was admitted on the train, the company managing the Spanish railway infrastructure and monitoring the safety of the stations said that it had initiated an internal investigation. The company ADIF also said in an e-mail statement that it revised its security protocols.
An AP reporter at the scene in Barcelona saw long queues of passengers waiting for rail traffic to resume.
In August last year, 16 people were killed in Barcelona and a nearby coastal resort, causing consecutive vehicle and knife attacks that were later claimed by the Islamic State Group.
Brito reported from Barcelona, Spain.