A spokesman at Miami International Airport says all concourses have reopened after an overnight evacuation prompted by the discovery of a suspicious item in a checked bag.
Spokesman Greg Chin told The Associated Press that passengers, workers and others were being let back into all six concourses Friday morning. Four of them had been closed since late Thursday after federal authorities said they detained a passenger.
They say a screener at the airport had spotted something suspicious in a checked bag.
The Transportation Security Administration declined to identify the suspicious item found in the bag and didn't identify the passenger it says was taken into custody about 9 p.m. Thursday. Meanwhile, a bomb squad scoured the airport for hours ahead of the Labor Day holiday.
"The passenger was located and is now in law enforcement custody," the TSA's terse statement said.
The federal agency responsible for air travel security also said four of the six concourses in the 2-mile long complex — Terminals E, F, G, and H — had been evacuated beginning late Thursday along with airport roadways "to ensure public safety."
Miami-Dade Police said a bomb squad spent hours overnight prowling the concourse along with fire officials and other law enforcement agents called to investigate. An Associated Press photographer also saw a hazardous material team on site.
Police spokesman Alvaro Zableta told The Associated Press the four evacuated concourses remained closed to the public early Friday as the dawn of the peak Labor Day travel season approached. He urged all those with scheduled Miami flight departures Friday to check with local air carriers.
Airport spokesman Greg Chin said between 100 and 200 passengers were evacuated initially.
"I'm still not sure how many flights came in during this time, but any that did were relocated to the eastern or western ends of the airport," Chin said early Friday, adding parts of Concourses D and J remained open to flights.
"We had to have passengers moved out on the curbside," he said, adding most of those returning to the building were allowed into the areas of the two concourses still open.
Chin said the bomb squad remained on the scene just before 4 a.m. Friday, the start of the morning rush when some 1,500 passengers were expected on flights between then and 6 a.m.
Calls to the Miami International Airport Hotel, located on one of the evacuated concourses rang unanswered early Friday.
Associated Press Writer Bill Cormier in Atlanta contributed to this report.
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