Miami International Airport was shut down for seven hours Thursday after screeners found what they believed to be a pipe bomb in a man’s luggage.
The 70 year old scientist who possessed the canister, originally believed to be an explosive, has a prison record for transporting vials of bubonic plague illegally. The combination of the canister and his past history brought the bomb squad and first responders in hazardous material suits to the scene.
The testing of the canister proved it to be non-explosive, according to Nicholas Kimball, Department of Homeland Security spokesman. Kimball also said the canister was tested for contaminants.
The airport was closed off and some sections were completely evacuated. Many of the roadways leading in to and out of the airport were closed, causing traffic jams. Some planes were rerouted to other areas of the airport to avoid the evacuated sections. Reports indicate that travelers in the airport experienced confusion, delays, and frustrations, but also appeared thankful that everyone was safe.
The Miami-Dade Police, Transportation Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security were all on the scene.
The man in question has not been charged. The airport was open again early Friday.