Suspicious package was forgotten suitcase - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Suspicious package was forgotten suitcase

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The suitcase was blown up on this spot near the flagpole The suitcase was blown up on this spot near the flagpole

By Christian Jennings - bio | email

ALBANY,  GA (WALB) –  Suspicious luggage was detonated, causing tension and flight delays at the Southwest Georgia Regional airport Monday morning.

The APD bomb squad blew up a suspicious unattended suitcase only to find out it wasn't a threat at all, but was full of clothes.

The airport followed protocol though, and some Albany passengers say they feel safer knowing airport employees know what to do in high-risk situations.

It was simple black bag that triggered suspicion, panic, flight delays, and eventually a small explosion at the Southwest Georgia Regional airport early this morning.

"When we got here we saw the lights flashing." Ricky Cross, owner of Cross Landing Eatery and Bar inside the airport was one of 50 people forced to wait in the service drive parking lot, a safe 300 feet away from the suspicious suitcase sitting unattended by the flagpole.

It was an airport policeman who found it, they check the parking lot every morning. They did follow proper procedure.

"Albany Police officers, the TSA, airport police and firefighters all stood guard as the APD bomb squad blew up the luggage," said Airport Director Yvette Aehle.

"It was a big boom noise but then it was over," said Cross.

You can see plastic left from the explosion, and that black spot on the ground is where it happened.

The 6:30AM flight was delayed and eventually left the runway at 8:00AMm sharp. Some passengers left frustrated but Ricky Cross is happy with the way things were handled.

"I think it was a wise decision. I feel a lot safer working here."

"We're glad this doesn't happen often but at least we know our officers follow proper procedure," said Aehle.

An Albany man accidentally left the bag in the parking lot Monday night when he was moving luggage from a rental car to his vehicle. A little mistake that caused a big commotion.

There aren't any security cameras in the parking lot of Southwest Georgia Regional airport, so the incident was not captured on camera.

 

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