Lincoln Airport evacuation called off after TSA detected a suspicious package
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — The Lincoln Airport is back on schedule after a tense morning disrupted flights on Wednesday.
Around 9:40 a.m., all passengers and personnel were evacuated from the Lincoln airport due to a suspicious package.
TSA detected it during the normal baggage screening process.
Crews from Lincoln Police, Lincoln Fire & Rescue and the bomb squad worked to diffuse the situation.
It is still unclear what about the package was suspicious, but travelers were evacuated for just over an hour before the bomb squad cleared the threat.
“I just know it was through the screening process, and so assuming it was a checked bag by a passenger going out sometime this morning,” airport spokeswoman Rachel Barth said. “I do not know what it looked like or anything like that. Clearly something was detected in it, and luckily it came back that it was not anything that could harm anybody. Again, better safe than sorry.”
Originally, officials said to prepare for two- to four-hour flight delays.
But just after 11 a.m., the bomb squad cleared people to board their flights. As flights resumed, delays were still expected to last at least one hour.
Two flights from Chicago and Denver needed to be diverted during the investigation.
Passengers told Channel 8 they were thankful to be kept up to date as new information was available.
“This is my first flight by myself, so that was more why I was nervous,” Abbey Bracken said. “I was just hoping it was all going to go well, so it was kind of unique, but not unique where I’d want to do it again.”
When travelers tried to pull up to the terminal, responders had the entrance blocked.
Other passengers had no idea what was happening and looked to the news on their phones.
“Yeah, we Googled it on the airport news,” Patti Poppert said. “Then we knew that it was a suspected substance of some kind, and we thought, ‘Oh no problem, they have the person, they have the bag, this won’t take long.’ An hour later, you know. But hey, I’m meeting people here that I’ve known. They’re wishing us luck as we’re on our way to London, and so, a good start.”
Following TSA’s protocol, officials said all precautionary measures were exercised for the safety of the passengers.