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Tuesday, October 01, 2013




Hundreds evacuated from Jacksonville International Airport after suspicious packages found

Jacksonville International Airport remained shut down Tuesday night after authorities found two suspicious packages and took at least two men into custody, said airport officials and witnesses.
The packages were found inside the terminal and in a parking garage, said Airport Spokesman Michael Stewart. A Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office bomb squad team is on the scene. Authorities said nothing about the contents.
A witness told The Times-Union that he saw at least two men handcuffed in separate spots - one in the airport and one outside - shortly before 6 p.m. A second witness said he saw police throw a man to the ground outside the airport and then put him in handcuffs.

BRUCE LIPSKY/The Times-Union
Authorities block the road to the Jacksonville International Airport terminal as a bomb disposal unit drives by on the right Tuesday. The airport was evacuated because of a suspicious package and at least two people detained.

A picture provided to The Times-Union by one witness shows police kneeling over a man lying on the ground outside the airport with a large blue duffel bag near his side. Another picture shows a handcuffed man standing by police inside the terminal.

Stewart said he is unaware of what is in the packages and gave no details about the men witnesses said were arrested. He said the FBI, Sheriff’s Office and Airport Authority police were involved.

“There’s an active investigation going on,” Stewart said at a 7:30 p.m. press conference outside the airport, which remains shut down this evening. “I can’t recall since I’ve been at the airport that an entire terminal has been evacuated, and I’ve been here nine years.”

There have been no reports of injuries or damage. Jacksonville police have blocked off the entrance to the airport.


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville International Airport is closed for the night. Every corner of it is being searched Tuesday night after the discovery of two suspicious packages.

The discovery led to the evacuation of the airport and the closing of the roads to the airport Tuesday afternoon.

Michael Stewart, a spokesman for the airport, said at a news conference at 7:30 p.m. that one package was found in the garage and a second was found in the terminal.

The packages were found by travelers. The JSO bomb squad responded. Authorities shut down all flights. The evacuation forced a number of passengers to stay on planes at the gates, waiting to be evacuated and cleared by security.

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