Suspicious Bag Prompts Partial Evacuation Of Los Angeles Airport

Authorities evacuated the departure level of Terminal 2 of Los Angeles Airport (LAX) earlier this morning after a suspicious item was found. Hundreds of passengers could be seen at the exits and arrivals level as authorities dealt with the item. The departures area was reopened an hour later, and operations restarted. However, traveler delays continued for a while later.

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Terminal 2 was closed for over an hour as the authorities dealt with the situation. Photo: Getty Images

Cleared

According to CBS LA, the departure level of LAX Terminal 2 was closed around 07:10 AM local time. All travelers on the level were evacuated to the nearest exits and the lower arrivals level at the same time. The alarm was due to authorities finding a suspicious object at around 07:00 in the departures area, prompting evacuation protocols to be invoked.

This resulted in quite a lot of crowding, but the management team at LAX reportedly managed to keep everything organized, according to travelers at the airport. Meanwhile, police and other units began assessing and clearing the suspicious item from the terminal area.

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Queues outside the airport were far longer than those seen on Memorial Day and other heavy traffic days. Photo: Getty Images

One hour later, at 08:15 local time, authorities announced the item had been cleared and the terminal could reopen. This included the departure car traffic lanes, which were also closed during the evacuation. However, things did not go so smoothly afterward.

Backup

While the terminal was now safe to operate and passengers could continue their journey, things did not go smoothly. Videos show hundreds of passengers queued outside T2, waiting to check in to their flights across the country and globe at around 09:00.

In particular, the entry gates for Delta passengers had scores of travelers waiting to enter the terminal, with many spilling into the curbside drop-off area as well. The situation reportedly caused several Delta flights to be delayed as passengers completed formalities.

Data from RadarBox.com shows that at least 10 Delta flights were delayed and several more have been pushed ahead due to the evacuation and subsequent backup. United and JetBlue also saw a few flights delayed as the terminal resumed operations.

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Threat level

When it comes to suspicious items and possible threats, airport authorities usually take every precaution to keep passengers safe. Even an errant phone call about a possible threat can see entire planes and terminals evacuated until the threat is dealt with adequately. While these almost always end in no danger, there is no margin of error when it comes to public safety.

Today’s incident at LAX underscores this security principle. With independence day weekend kicking off, airports will be on high alert for threats during what is looking like the busiest travel weekend since March 2020.

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Airports and airlines globally stick to investigating any possible threats and moving passengers away at the first sign of trouble. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

In April, Fort Lauderdale Airport was closed for five hours after a possible bomb threat involving a vehicle. When it comes to security, expect the authorities to pull out all the stops to keep passengers safe.

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