MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Authorities said at least part of Terminal 2 at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport was evacuated Friday morning after a report of a suspicious package in the ticketing area.
Authorities responded to the incident sometime after 6 a.m. at Terminal 2, which is the Humphrey Terminal.
Patrick Hogan, the director of public affairs and marketing for the airport, said the ticket lobby in Terminal 2 was cleared of passengers. Hogan said a suspicious box was left behind by a passenger and a bomb squad was been called into investigate.
Hogan said the package was about two feet by two feet and had pipes sticking out of the top. A woman went up to the ticket counter at Southwest Airlines to check the package, which contained a propane tank, but security officials wouldn’t let her.
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Officials said instead of bringing it back to her vehicle, the woman left it by a trash can near ticketing. She allegedly told people to watch it and wait for her husband to retrieve it.
WCCO was informed that her husband did come to get the package, but airport authorities had already been alerted.
The building was evacuated, causing traffic outside to become a snarled mess, according to traveler Arvind Sharma.
“We actually came in but there was so much traffic backed up that we turned around and went to … Lindberg Terminal and actually took the tram over here, and we’ve been waiting here about an hour,” Sharma said.
Authorities said the woman was questioned and released. Her identity has not been released.
Terminal 2 was shut down for about two hours, but Terminal 1 was not affected.
Hogan says the bomb scare could have been much worse had it happened at the main terminal. The evacuation affected just 10 gates. At Terminal 1, there would have been 10 times that number.
TSA agents confiscate a wide range of prohibited items from carry on. They suggest passengers use the “My TSA” app, which will instantly tell you if what you’re bringing along can pass through security.