| News

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Forgotten backpack locks down Pittsburgh airport

Email Newsletters

Sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

By Pittsburgh The Tribune-Review
Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011

A book on the history of the atomic bomb set off a chain reaction that put the Pittsburgh International Airport on lockdown last night.

A traveler who took a Port Authority bus from the airport to Oakland left his bag on the bus, Port Authority spokesman Jim Ritchie said.

The bus returned to the airport with the bag in it, and someone who looked inside saw the book, Ritchie said.

"All they saw was a book that had something to do with bombs," Ritchie said. "You really can't mess around with that kind of thing. You have to let the authorities step in and take a look. That's when you trigger the sequence of safety measures that are in place now."

Port Authority police, Allegheny County police, the county bomb squad and the FBI all responded. Both security checkpoints and the train were shut down for about an hour as a precaution, airport spokeswoman JoAnn Jenny said.

The incident began about 10:30 p.m. and was cleared by midnight, she said. There weren't any outbound passengers at the time, but inbound passengers had to be bused to the landslide terminal.

Meanwhile, the traveler realized he left his bag and flagged down another bus in Oakland and eventually spoke with authorities, Ritchie said.

"Ultimately, it turned out to be a tired traveler who inadvertently left his bag there," Ritchie said. "There was nothing malicious about it."

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Founder of Z&M Cycle Sales in Hempfield killed in Florida motorcycle crash
  2. State Supreme Court: Highmark Medicare Advantage members to retain in-network access to UPMC
  3. New Florence man charged with killing police officer
  4. Eight Pitt players named to All-ACC team
  5. Regoli won’t seek recount in Westmoreland County judge election
  6. Steelers stalled by Seahawks, on outside of AFC wild-card picture
  7. Steelers players say they support Tomlin’s attempts at deception
  8. Sports Deli is latest tenant to say goodbye to Parkway Center Mall
  9. Rossi: It’s past time for NFL to protect players
  10. Baseball America names Pirates as organization of the year
  11. Wilkinsburg mom pleads guilty to child endangerment, will testify against boyfriend