Unattended bag sparks evacuation of OR Tambo terminal building

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OR Tambo terminal building
Unattended bag sparks evacuation of OR Tambo terminal building

The evacuation of the OR Tambo International Airport on Monday, after an unattended bag was discovered, was not part of a simulation expected to take place in Kempton Park on Monday night, the South African Police Service (SAPS) said.

Airport spokesperson Leigh Gunkel-Keuler said that when the bag was spotted‚ the airport’s canine unit and the South African Police Service (SAPS) were called in to investigate.

“As part of the safety protocol and to ensure the safety of passengers and customers in the airport terminal building‚ people were evacuated from the area.

“The SAPS has now provided airport management with the assurance that passengers and customers can now return to the airport terminal building‚” said Gunkel-Keuler. 

“From an airport operations perspective‚ we have returned to normal. However‚ we do anticipate some flight delays as a result of the evacuation. We apologise to clients‚ passengers‚ retail concessionaires and all other stakeholders for the inconvenience and ask that they plan accordingly‚” Gunkel-Keuler added.

Spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Katlego Mogale said that there was an evacuation at OR Tambo International Airport at the terminal building following the discovery of an unattended bag.

“The SAPS K9 and airport security K9 were called to the scene. The dogs were deployed to ascertain whether there were explosives in the bag but the dogs reacted negatively. The bag was then opened under controlled detonation by the SAPS explosives unit. At this stage investigations are under way to confirm the contents of the bag. A few hours ago operations at the airport returned to normal,” she said.

“This incident is not part of the simulation that is yet to take place in Kempton Park this evening. Members of the public and/or passengers are advised not to leave bags unattended as they pose a potential security risk.”

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