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Thu, Aug 17, 2006

WV Airport Evacuated After Security Scare

ANN REALTIME UPDATE 08.18.06 1800 EDT: Commercial operations have resumed at Tri-State Airport in Huntington, WV after explosives were detected in two out of four bottles of liquid being carried by a female passenger Thursday morning.

CBS News reports the 28-year-old woman -- who is originally from Pakistan, but had recently moved to Huntington from Jackson, Michigan -- is still being questioned by the FBI and TSA. The unidentified woman was scheduled to take a US Airways flight to Detroit.

It is not known yet whether she will be charged by authorities. That decision will likely hinge on what, if any, explosives are detected after the suspect containers are detonated by bomb squad robots.

Tri-State Airport is a small, feeder airport for regional carriers operating for US Airways and Delta, and offers connections to Cincinnati, OH and Charlotte, WV. The airport also supports general aviation, and operations for FedEx.

Thursday's incident comes one week after a plot to blow up airliners bound for the US from Britain -- using bottles of liquid containing explosives -- was uncovered by officials in the UK.

Original Report

Aero-News has learned the Tri-State Airport in Huntington, WV was evacuated just before lunchtime Thursday, after a State Police bomb-sniffing dog reacted to a liquid in a passenger's carry-on luggage.

Airport marketing director Beckie McKinley confirmed to the Charleston Gazette the luggage belonged to a female passenger of Middle Eastern descent, who was scheduled to travel on a US Airways flight.

Amy von Walter, a spokeswoman for the TSA, added the woman's water bottle tested positive twice for explosives -- including a swab test. The passenger is now being questioned by the FBI.

As of now, no flights are taking off or landing at KHTS, and all passengers and workers at the terminal have been moved to a separate building.

Stay tuned to ANN as we continue to follow this developing story.

FMI: www.tsa.gov, www.tristateairport.com

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