Bagpipes shut down Portland Jetport

Discussion in 'Bizarre and Off-Beat News' started by Casshew, Jan 15, 2004.

  1. Casshew

    Casshew Former Member

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    An electronic bagpipe packed in a length of PVC pipe looked so much like a bomb on an X-ray machine screening baggage that officials evacuated Portland International Jetport for more than an hour Tuesday morning.

    The airport was shut down at 6 a.m. after one of the Transportation Security Administration passenger screeners spotted a suspicious item in the carry-on luggage of a middle-aged local businessman. The Maine State Police bomb squad was called in, and the man was interviewed by the FBI and by Portland and state police before the airport reopened at 7:45 a.m.

    More than 300 passengers on eight flights were delayed, but transportation officials characterized the response as appropriate.

    This is the first time the airport has been evacuated since a series of bomb threats four years ago, before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, that led to more aggressive passenger screening. Two of the 9/11 hijackers left from the Portland jetport the morning of the attacks.

    The incident delayed six flights and canceled a flight bound for Albany, N.Y.

    The electronic bagpipe chanter consists of a cylinder with a thin metal mouthpiece at one end and a battery compartment at the other with wires connecting the components. Bagpipers often use the electronic chanter to practice because it is much smaller than traditional bagpipes.

    Full Story from Press Herald
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