GRAPEVINE, Texas – Part of an American Airlines terminal at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (search) was evacuated for several hours Thursday after security officials found a suspicious device during a routine baggage screening.
The terminal was reopened and airport operations resumed after a bomb disposal squad used a robot to remove the screening device. They transported it to an open field on airport property for inspection.
The device, which resembled a pipe, was discovered during a Transportation Security Administration (search) baggage screening and set off an alarm, airport officials said.
"The pipe had wires and threaded caps," airport spokesman David MagaÉna said. "There are certain triggers that will stop down a screener and that was one of them."
The bag was dropped off for screening by a passenger who later boarded a flight to Birmingham, Ala., MagaÉna said, correcting earlier official reports that the passenger was bound for Philadelphia.
Patty Howell, a spokeswoman for Birmingham International Airport (search), said the plane, an MD-80, landed without any problems Thursday afternoon. Security officials with bomb-sniffing dogs boarded the aircraft once it pulled up to the terminal, which remained open.
"As a precautionary measure, we are sweeping it," said Howell.
Howell referred questions about the passenger to the Transportation Safety Administration, which had no immediate comment.
It's the first time this year that DFW passengers were evacuated because of a suspicious device, said TSA spokeswoman Andrea McCauley.
"It's very serious," McCauley said. "We're taking the utmost precautions until the situation can be resolved."