Tags: San | Francisco | Airport | Reopens | After | Explosives | Scare

San Francisco Airport Reopens After Explosives Scare

Wednesday, 30 January 2002 12:00 AM

The security breach resulted in thousands of people being evacuated from Terminal 3 at the busy airport. A number of outbound airliners were grounded, which was expected to delay flights both into and out of the airport for hours.

Passengers were allowed to go back into the terminal around 11 a.m. PST. Airport officials said the terminal had been deemed safe even though the suspect, a white male in his 40s, apparently gave police the slip.

The incident began around 7 a.m. PST when the man was pulled aside at a security gate for what airport officials described as a routine spot check of the man's shoes.

"When the shoes were checked for trace residue, they came up with possibly a positive for explosives," airport spokesman Mike McCarron told radio station KGO. "When they went to ask him more questions, the security guards lost him in the crowd."

United Airlines, which uses the airport as a hub, was most seriously affected by evacuations and delays.

The possibility of terrorist suicide bombers smuggling explosives hidden in their shoes aboard an airliner stemmed from the arrest of Richard Reid, a British citizen who tried to detonate a "shoe bomb" aboard a flight from Paris to Miami last month.

McCarron said traces of explosive residue on a person's shoes did not necessarily indicate the presence of a bomb and could have been picked up from other sources such as stepping on a firecracker or handling nitroglycerine tablets. Copyright 2002 by United Press International.

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The security breach resulted in thousands of people being evacuated from Terminal 3 at the busy airport. A number of outbound airliners were grounded, which was expected to delay flights both into and out of the airport for hours. Passengers were allowed to go back into...
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2002-00-30
Wednesday, 30 January 2002 12:00 AM
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