Threat prompts closure of three California airports |

Threat prompts closure of three California airports

SAN DIEGO – A San Diego International Airport terminal was evacuated Tuesday morning after luggage screeners mistook a child’s toy and a cookie for bomb-making materials.It was part of a jittery morning for Southern California air travel as airports in Long Beach and Orange County also were shut down because of bomb threats, but no explosive devices were found, officials said.Both airports are located within 50 miles of Los Angeles.In San Diego, a bomb squad was called to the terminal around 7:45 a.m. but determined the carryon bag did not contain explosives, said Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman Jennifer Peppin.The terminal was reopened about 9:20 a.m. and passengers were allowed back in, Peppin said.Five commuter flights to Los Angeles and one flight to Salt Lake City were delayed, said Steve Shultz, an airport spokesman.Federal agents were investigating whether two telephone threats received around 3 a.m. were related, said FBI spokeswoman Cathy Viray.At Long Beach, passengers who arrived around 5 a.m. for the first departing flights of the day were barred from entering terminals until the airport reopened around 7:20 a.m., said airport spokeswoman Sharon Diggs-Jackson.The closure delayed some morning flights because security officials had to screen many passengers at once. One American Airlines flight was canceled.While she declined to discuss the specific nature of the bomb threat because of security concerns, Diggs-Jackson said the airport rarely receives threatening calls.No flights in or out of John Wayne Airport in Orange County were affected because officials finished investigating before the first flight departed at 7 a.m., said airport spokeswoman Jenny Wedge.”We inspected all terminals and aircraft to ensure everything was safe,” Wedge said. “We didn’t identify anything, and the terminals continued to operate as normal.”Wedge described the call as a nonspecific threat because the caller didn’t say where the bomb was located or even whether it was at John Wayne Airport.”Without having specific information, we still have to take a threat of that type seriously,” Wedge said.Vail, Colorado

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