MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A suspicious bag led to an evacuation at Terminal 2 at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Friday morning.
Authorities said the Humphrey terminal was evacuated at about 5:30 a.m. after a bag being scanned by screeners set off an alarm.
Police were called in to the non-secure side of the terminal, which was the area travelers would reach before going through security. Several hundred people were evacuated from the area and the inbound roadway into the terminal was temporarily shut down.
Airport police called in the Bloomington bomb squad, and they were able to contain the bag and put it in a safe location. The person whose bag it was has been detained and is being questioned by airport police.
Airport spokesperson Patrick Hogan said the alarm went off when the bag went through an X-ray machine. The alarm goes off whenever potentially explosive materials are detected.
Hogan said a TSA agent found two PVC pipes with a granular material inside them. The bag also contained a number of wires.
According to Hogan, the bag’s owner claimed it was a water filtration device and that the wires were not related. That passenger was released and rebooked on another flight.
The evacuation was lifted, and passengers were being allowed into the terminal by 7 a.m.
The passenger was not immediately charged, but the TSA may decide to bring up civil charges against the passenger due to the disruption his device caused. Hogan said the device led to a similar evacuation in Long Beach, Calif. back in 2009.
All flights were held during the approximately 90-minute closure. There were no reported flight cancellations, only delays.