Mon, Dec 28, 2009
Passengers Treated To Drinks During Bomb Scare
A TSA screener set off a full-scale evacuation of the Santa
Maria Public Airport (SMX) around 1 pm Wednesday after seeing a
suspicious object in an X-ray scan during passenger
screening. Air traffic and passenger operations were
disrupted for nearly five hours during the investigation.
After the device was found, the Santa Maria Police Department
and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department Bomb Squad
were called, according to GM Chris Hastert.
The SMX terminal, rental car offices and restaurant were
evacuated, although the Radisson hotel attached to the airport
remained open. “They took everybody in and gave them
drinks and a place to sit,” Hastert said. “Everybody
seemed to be in pretty good spirits.”
The bomb squad arrived at SMX around 3pm and determined there
was no threat. The suspicious package turned out to be nothing more
than a child's electronic toy.
A United Express flight from LAX landed during the evacuation
and unloaded passengers away from terminal. An Allegent Air
flight from LAS was held in Vegas until the SMX terminal was
reopened around 5pm.
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