2008_03_smokybackpack.jpgYesterday, the Gothamist Newsmap noted there was a "suspicious package" at the Flatbush & 7th Avenue subway station in Brooklyn. It now turns out it was a backpack that started to smoke, by way of a science project.

The Daily News reports Gregory Kats, New York City College of Technology computer engineering student, was headed home to Sheepshead Bay on the B train when "white smoke began spiraling out of his backpack." A device he built, based on an elevator's mechanics, had short-circuited and freaked out other passengers. Kats said his fellow straphangers "started to jump out of the train" as soon as it arrived at 7th Avenue.

The bomb squad arrived and the police interrogated Kats, who was eventually released hours later without being charged. Kats was apologetic, "I hate to scare people. Next time, I'll be much more careful and keep my electronic projects at home."

Flashback: In 2006, the MTA and NYPD were unamused when Pratt students left duffel bags of crap (the Post, comic books) in subway stations--an art project, of course--and charged them with leaving fake bombs.