Detroit Airport Evacuated as Bomb Squad Handles Suspicious Package

Image: Detroit Airport Evacuated as Bomb Squad Handles Suspicious Package The bomb squad removes a piece of luggage at a closed down North Terminal at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Romulus, Mich., Monday April 1, 2013.

Monday, 01 Apr 2013 02:39 PM

By Alexandra Ward

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A terminal at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport was evacuated on Monday, one of the busiest travel days of the year, as a bomb squad handled a suspicious package at a security checkpoint.

The North Terminal was shut down for two hours Monday morning as officials removed the suspicious object — variously reported as either a laptop or a small piece of luggage — and brought it in a bomb-proof container to a remote location for closer inspection, according to Metro Airport spokesman Mike Conway. One person was detained in the incident.

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"They know the person who was associated with this bag, and they have been detained. Everyone who has gotten a look at this thing said it gave cause for suspicion," Conway told The Detroit News.

Airport authorities became aware of the suspicious object when it blew a tube in an X-ray machine at a security checkpoint early Monday. Security personnel immediately shut down the terminal around 6:15 a.m. and evacuated everyone from the gates.

"TSA immediately notified Airport Authority Police, out of an abundance of caution, moved all passengers and employees a safe distance from the screening checkpoint until the Explosive Ordinance Detection unit could safely remove the item from the terminal," a statement issued by the airport said.

Visitors were forced to walk to the old Smith Terminal a short walking distance away. Police reopened the terminal around 8:15 a.m.

Sources later told to CBS Newsradio 950 that the package, reportedly some kind of "decorative item," was found to be non-explosive.

The incident occurred the day after Easter, one of the busiest traveling days of the year.

"It's a very busy day, and the terminal was very, very crowded," Conway told The Detroit News. "All the airlines have early morning flights. We're trying to determine how many people have been affected by flight delays because of the incident."

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Related stories:

Bomb Threat Prompts Alaska Airport Evacuation

Electronic Game Prompts Calif. Airport Evacuation

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