Illinois airport evacuated due to suspicious bag


PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — An Illinois airport was evacuated for about three hours Thursday morning after a passenger had a bag that appeared to contain tubes of explosive material, though security officials determined it wasn’t a bomb.

The Peoria International Airport was evacuated just after 6:30 a.m. Thursday and reopened about 9:30 a.m., Airport Director Gene Olson said. The Peoria Police Department’s Explosive Ordinance Disposal unit was called after the suspicious items were found during routine security screenings, Olson said.

A female passenger had luggage that looked like a bomb but was in fact a lookalike used to train employees of abortion clinics in bomb recognition, Peoria County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Joseph Needham said. The woman was released after questioning.

The lookalike included a jar with liquid, an aerosol can, wires, timing device and dog toys that resembled dynamite sticks and were labeled “dynamite,” officials said.

Peoria County Sheriff Mike McCoy told the (Peoria) Journal Star the woman was on a flight to Dallas.

“The woman was saying everything was all right,” McCoy said, but added that anyone who saw the luggage “would be suspicious.”

The airport was reopened after security officials determined it wasn’t an explosive device, Olson said. About a half-dozen flights were affected, he said.