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Posted on: October 18, 2011

Areas of Bellingham International Airport Evacuated After Suspicious Package Found at Checkpoint

[Bellingham, Wash.] Areas of the Bellingham Airport terminal have been evacuated after two pieces of suspicious luggage were found at a TSA screening checkpoint at approximately 9:40am today. As a precaution, law enforcement was called and portions of the airport have been evacuated.

The Bellingham Police Department’s Bomb Squad arrived on site at about 10 a.m. and is evaluating the package using the Bomb Squad’s robotic device. Representatives from the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office, Washington State Patrol, TSA officials and the FBI are also on the scene.

The suspicious luggage remains inside the security x-ray screening device at this time.

The portions of the airport that have been evacuated include all upstairs offices, the main lobby, ticket counters, TSA screening area and baggage claim area. Around 50 people from these areas have been evacuated to the opposite side of the street from the terminal building. The gate holding area has not been evacuated because it is more than 300 feet away from the luggage. Those passengers are safe and secured.

Two departures have been delayed, a Alaska Air flight bound for Seattle and an Allegiant Air flight destined for Las Vegas. The Alaska Air flight is boarding and will depart with the passengers who passed through the security checkpoint before the evacuation was ordered.

No planes have landed at the airport since the incident occurred. The next inbound flight is scheduled for 12:50 pm.

Two people, a man and a woman who are believed to the owners of the luggage, are being questioned by authorities.

Updates will be provided as soon as they are available.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Carolyn Casey, Port of Bellingham Communications Manager
(360) 676-2500
(360) 303-0518

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