Rice cooker snarls SF morning traffic

A suspicious device reported at a San Francisco Municipal Railway bus stop at a busy intersection Thursday morning turned out to be some sort of rice cooker, police said.

Muni officials reported a suspicious device at 7:27 a.m. at a bus stop on the east side of South Van Ness Avenue at Mission Street, according to police.

Officers shut down several nearby streets and the department’s bomb squad responded to investigate. At 9:10 a.m., investigators determined the device was some sort of rice cooker and deemed it harmless, police spokesman Sgt. Michael Andraychak said.

The device initially appeared to possibly be some sort of pressure cooker bomb and Andraychak acknowledged San Francisco police are on alert because of a similar type of bomb that exploded in New York City last weekend, injuring dozens of people.

He said investigators do not know if the device was left there as a prank or by accident. He said there is a Goodwill store located nearby and the bus stop is in an area with a sizable homeless population.