Suspicious item causes evacuation of airport

Posted: Thursday, August 26, 2010

A brief evacuation was ordered at the Juneau International Airport at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday when a Transportation Security Administration employee noticed a suspicious item during security screening.

TSA stakeholder liaison Keith Whitehead said the airport staff followed proper procedures and called the bomb appraisal officer. The airport also was notified and an evacuation was called.

"That probably lasted about a minute," Whitehead said. "By that time the bomb appraisal officer was on site and determined it was not a threat."

Whitehead said the item was cleared, but he couldn't say why the item was identified as a threat.

While he wasn't on scene when the incident occurred, he said the people at the airport reacted in an orderly fashion and evacuated across the street where it was determined to be safe. He said he wasn't sure how many people were at the airport at the time, but said only one plane was on the ground.

"I'm not sure that flight had much of a delay," he said.

The incident was cleared at 11:54 a.m., he said.

In an e-mail Juneau Airport Manager Patricia deLaBruere sent to city staff and local media, she said all screening and flights have resumed to normal operations.

• Sarah Day can be contacted at 523-2279 or sarah.day@juneauempire.com



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