By The Associated Press
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — A bomb threat temporarily cleared out San Antonio International Airport on Wednesday after officials said someone called alleging that three packages had been left inside a parking garage.
About 2,000 passengers in the terminal were herded onto the tarmac for about 1 1/2 hours after the unknown person called around 2:30 p.m. warning about the packages, and flights were not allowed to land at the airport, fire and airport officials said.
No packages were found in the terminal but bomb-sniffing dogs were still searching a parking garage Wednesday afternoon, and roads leading to and from the airport remained closed, San Antonio Fire Department spokeswoman Deborah Foster said.
Once the terminals were checked out, flights resumed landing and several planes that had landed when the threat was called in were allowed to let their passengers get off, airport spokeswoman Nora Castro said.
“The K-9s (initially) had hits in the garage. But they have not found any devices. Sometimes they get false positives,” Foster said.
Passengers taken out of the terminal were later funneled onto more than two dozen city buses, each able to carry about 36 people, VIA Metropolitan Transit spokeswoman Priscilla Ingle said.
Kristen Reeves, a Chicago hotel marketing representative, said she was returning home when she was evacuated from the terminal.
“They took us outside, and we were out in the sun for a while,” she said. “I was standing in the security line and I heard the security personnel say, `Lockdown!’ really loud.”
Another passenger, Scott Holcomb, 34, of Tulsa, Okla., said the evacuation was well-organized and that water was provided to evacuees standing in the hot sun. He said that after about 20 minutes, they were led to a shaded area and then eventually were able to return to the building.
He said most people were calm during the evacuation.
“This is just one more of the big inconveniences of travel,” said Holcomb, who was rebooked on a later flight back to Tulsa.