Airport in Alabama reopens after security scare

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama Sun Feb 27, 2011 8:56pm EST

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BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (Reuters) - Authorities reopened the airport at Birmingham, Alabama, on Sunday after closing it for several hours due to a suspicious package, airport spokeswoman Toni Bast said.

"The site has been secured and we are open again. The terminal is safe. Passengers are allowed to leave and others are allowed to drive to the airport and pick up arriving passengers," Bast said.

The airport was closed for around four hours.

The suspicious package was found in a car by an airport worker when the car was about to be parked, Sergeant Johnny Williams of the Birmingham police said.

"The device was removed along with the vehicle. The person who parked the car is in flight and will be met by the FBI (on arrival)," Williams told Reuters.

The FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, the local bomb squad and police were involved in the incident, he said.

The Birmingham-Shuttlesworth airport is Alabama's largest and serves the greater Birmingham area and surrounding southeastern cities, according to its website.

Birmingham is the largest city in Alabama and the southeastern state's economic hub.

(Reporting by Peggy Gargis and Verna Gates; Editing by Matthew Bigg and Paul Simao)

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