Part of Cleveland airport evacuated after bag sets off explosiv

Saturday, May 4, 2002

CLEVELAND -- Two airport concourses were evacuated Friday after a passenger's bag set off an explosives detector, and the passenger and bag disappeared into the crowd before security personnel noticed, authorities said.

Airport Commissioner Fred Szabo said screeners were unable to locate the bag in a search of the concourses. He could not rule out the possibility that the passenger got on a departing flight with it before the concourses were closed.

The explosives detectors frequently return false readings, Szabo said. But without the bag, he said, there was no way of knowing if Friday's incident was a false alarm.

"We don't have any indication that there was actually an explosive device, but we don't know for sure," he said.

The bag set off the detector at a security checkpoint run by Huntleigh International of St. Louis, but the alarm wasn't immediately noticed, Szabo said. By the time a security worker saw it, the bag and the passenger carrying it were out of sight, he said.

Huntleigh officials declined comment Friday.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: