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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Man held in L.A. subway mercury spill

LOS ANGELES - The FBI on Tuesday questioned a man suspected of spilling mercury on a subway platform last month and said he did not appear to be involved in terrorist activity.

Armando Bustamante Miranda, 27, was arrested and held for a parole violation unrelated to the spill, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said. She declined to elaborate.

"We're not going to have anything more until we sort this thing out," Eimiller said.

A videotape showed a man crouching and dropping something onto a platform at a subway station on Dec. 22. He used a Metropolitan Transit Authority call box to report the spill, then boarded a train.

The county is investigating to determine why transit officials waited eight hours to alert authorities after they were told about the spilled toxic substance.

No injuries were reported, and officials believe the small amount of mercury would have been harmful only if someone touched it or drank it.
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