Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Bakersfield Airport Shutdown due to Hazardous Material in Baggage

The Bakersfield Airport in California, known as Meadows Field, has been shutdown due to some type of hazardous material found in baggage. No flights are coming in or going out, and the airport has been evacuated to the airport parking lot . Officials stress that the material is not a bomb, and nothing was found on an aircraft. More as information becomes available.
11:53 a.m. CDT: FOXNews is interviewing someone, sorry do not know who, saying that the passenger has been detained. The two TSA agents who were affected by fumes were treated by paramedics.

11:47: a.m. CDT: Jane Skinner at FOXNews just reported that the material was perhaps traces of an explosive on a passenger's bag.

Update 12-6-10:
Francisco Ramirez, the owner of the bag causing the problems is a 31-year-old gardener from Milwaukee. He had 5 water bottles filled with honey inside his carry-on.
Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood said the bottles tested positive for traces of the explosive TNT. Two Transportation Security Administration employees who were working near the bag were taken to a nearby hospital, where they were treated and released.
Investigators are trying to determine whether something in the honey or on the bag prompted the alarm, Youngblood said.  Source: WashingtonPost
Is it possible that honey, inside capped water bottles can produce fumes that make two TSA agents ill? Ill enough to need the services of paramedics?

 This report says the honey tested negative for explosives and narcotics.
Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood said investigators were still trying to determine why a a routine swabbing of the bag's exterior Tuesday morning returned positive results for TNT.

When TSA agents opened one of the five bottles and tested the contents, the resulting fumes nauseated them, Youngblood said. Both were treated and released at a local hospital.
Stay tuned.

According to KERO23, TSA officials are investigating "a suspicious substance that sickened two TSA officials."
Sean Collins with the Kern Co. Fire Dept. said they cannot confirm what the hazardous material is, but the Kern County Sheriff's Department confirmed that it was contained in some type of bag.
Kern Count Fire Chief Nick Dunn said that the passengers are now on a bus to be kept warm. All flights coming in to Bakersfield have been diverted to LAX.
The Contra Costa Times quotes Suzanne Trevino, a spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) says the material was found in a checked bag Tuesday morning. The same report says "officials don't believe the incident is terrorism-related."

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