Thu, Aug 19, 2004
FBI, DHS Investigating Fort Wayne Incident
The FBI and Department of Homeland Security are on the case, but
initial reports say the Fort Wayne (IN) airport was shut down
Wednesday after a bag leaked chemicals used to make perfume.
Six people reportedly underwent decontamination and the terminal
was closed at around 0330 local, after one airport worker became
violently ill when exposed to the material.
There were conflicting reports Wednesday as to the origin of the
bag. American Airlines said it belonged to a passenger traveling to
Fort Wayne from London. WANE TV quoted a spokeswoman for the
airline, who said the bag made it from London to Chicago along with
its owner. But after the American Eagle flight from O'Hare to Fort
Wayne was delayed for five hours, the bag's owner didn't get on the
plane. The bag traveled unaccompanied -- an apparent violation of
commercial security protocol.
Other reports quoted an airport spokeswoman who said the bag
belonged to a doctor from Lebanon who apparently failed to board
the flight in Chicago.
The Fort Wayne News-Sentinel reported the worker who became so
ill was an American Airlines baggage handler. The paper said the
liquid was contained in two glass containers shaped like wine
The FBI sent "numerous" agents to investigate the discovery,
according to local television reports. The paper quoted Fort Wayne
Fire Department Capt. Bob Amber as saying the doctor who owned the
luggage had been located and was cooperating with the
The airport was closed after the liquid was discovered. It
reopened later in the day and a check of Fort Wayne International's
web site showed both arrivals and departures were on time again
shortly after noon.
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