Suspect Item Ties up Tampa Int'l

Transportation Security Administration workers noticed a "suspicious image" while screening baggage and contacted airport police.


The discovery of a suspicious package at Tampa International Airport on Wednesday caused the delay of more than a dozen flights and 550 passengers. A handful of passengers missed their flights.

The incident happened about 9:30 a.m. inside Airside A, said TIA spokeswoman Brenda Geoghagan. Transportation Security Administration workers noticed a "suspicious image" while screening baggage and contacted airport police.

Security screening stopped, and the concourse was evacuated. Airport police and canine units inspected the concourse, determined there was no danger and reopened it just before 11 a.m.

All passengers were asked to return to the main terminal building with their bags. The incident caused massive security lines inside Airside A. It took about an extra hour for passengers to go through a rescreening process, Geoghagan said.

During the rescreening, workers again noticed the suspicious image and then manually inspected the bag, said spokeswoman Sari Koshetz .

"We determined it wasn't a dangerous item. It wasn't a threat," Koshetz said. "We wanted to make sure security came first."

Several flights were stuck on the runway during the delay.

The pilot of a Continental flight from Tallahassee that had landed informed passengers he had been told a weapon was discovered during screening, said Joni James, a St. Petersburg Times reporter who was on the flight. According to Koshetz, that was not the case.

The airlines that operate from Airside A are AirTran, JetBlue, Continental, Northwest and Frontier.



News stories provided by third parties are not edited by "Site Publication" staff. For suggestions and comments, please click the Contact link at the bottom of this page.

We Recommend