February 2, 2018 / 11:38 AM / 2 months ago

Charleston airport evacuated for two hours over suspicious iPad

(Reuters) - South Carolina’s Charleston International Airport was evacuated for about two hours before dawn on Friday after screeners found a suspicious package that turned out to be an iPad, the airport’s top official said.

The iPad was spotted shortly after 5 a.m. EST (1000 GMT) by U.S. Transportation Security Administration screeners as it went through an x-ray unit, airport Executive Director Paul Campbell said. He previously said the package was a laptop.

After TSA screeners determined that the iPad “didn’t look exactly right,” the building was evacuated and the bomb squad called in, Campbell said. He did not explain why the iPad appeared suspicious to TSA personnel.

“We erred on the side of caution,” Campbell said at an airport news conference, a video of which was posted on the airport’s Twitter page.

The bomb squad determined that the iPad posed no threat, and its owner, after being questioned by law enforcement authorities, was released and rebooked on a flight, Campbell said.

The airport reopened shortly after 7 a.m., with passengers lining up at security checkpoints, ticket counters and gates.

“We apologize for the delay, but we’re not going to sacrifice safety for any reason, any reason at all,” Campbell said.

Reporting by Brendan O'Brien and Peter Szekely; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Jeffrey Benkoe

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