LIGHTS are resuming after a “credible” bomb threat caused the evacuation of a major Texas airport.
Security services have given the “all clear” after the San Antonio International Airport was evacuated following a bomb threat.
Sniffer dogs appeared to confirm the presence of suspicious substances in the basement of an airport carpark, but the vehicles have since been cleared of containing dangerous substances.
A phone threat to police said three bombs had been distributed around the garage, prompting the urgent evacuation of about 2000 people at 2:15 p.m. CT (3:15 p.m. ET), a fire department spokeswoman said.
Passengers inside the terminal were herded onto the tarmac, arriving planes stayed parked away from the gates and dozens of firefighters combed the airport searching for explosives. San Antonio Fire Department spokeswoman Deborah Foster said.
“It was three packages in a parking garage,” Foster said of the phone call to the airport. “Whether they found any, I’m not sure.”
Police sniffer dogs reportedly gave alarms at two of three vehicles specified in the phone threat. All three vehicles have since been cleared of containing dangerous substances.
“It was called in specifically to our airport,” airport spokesman Rich Johnson explained. “There were specific locations as well as specific numbers that were given to the people who answered the phone.”
Departing flights had been held, but some arriving planes were allowed to land. Planes already at the airport were either cleared to take off or were backed away from the building as a precaution because the threat was considered credible.
All terminals were swept by security services for possible further explosives. Passengers taken out of the terminal were later funneled onto more than two dozen city buses, each able to carry about 36 people, said Priscilla Ingle, spokeswoman for VIA Metropolitan Transit. She said the buses were staying parked at the airport but would be deployed to shelters if need be.
The buses were sent to get the passengers out of the heat, Foster said.
Some processing of passengers for air services have since begun to resume.
The airport handles an average of 260 domestic and international flights and 14,000 to 15,000 passengers a day.