Object Prompts Miss. Airport Evacuation

Airport security officers destroyed a passenger's carry-on bag Thursday after an X-ray showed a suspicious object and the owner falsely claimed to be a law enforcement officer.


JACKSON, Miss. (AP) -- Airport security officers destroyed a passenger's carry-on bag Thursday after an X-ray showed a suspicious object and the owner falsely claimed to be a law enforcement officer, officials said.

No bomb was found, and the passenger was being questioned, said Larry Rowlett, federal security director for airports in Mississippi.

The bomb scare closed the airport for an hour. Hundreds of people were evacuated, and flights were delayed.

The passenger told officials that the suspicious item was a phone charger, but the item did not match the phone he was carrying, Rowlett said. The bag was blown apart with a water cannon in an airport stairwell, and among the remains were wires, a telephone battery, tweezers and a cassette player, authorities said.

The passenger also claimed to work for the state Narcotics Bureau, then admitted it was not true after airport officials asked to see his badge, said Lauren Stover of the federal Transportation Security Administration.