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Court date for man who brought bags with inert explosives to Victoria airport: RCMP

Court date after airport scare

UPDATE 12:50 p.m.

The RCMP say a man who was carrying luggage with suspicious contents that led to the closure of the Victoria International Airport on Tuesday afternoon has been released from custody with an upcoming court date.

The Mounties did not provide the man's name or details of any charges.

They say members of their explosives disposal unit were called to examine items flagged during typical security scanning for departures and determined that two bags contained "inert military surplus explosives."

A statement released Wednesday by Cpl. Andres Sanchez says the RCMP were called when an airport security employee became concerned upon finding the first bag with two items that appeared to be "incendiary devices."

It says officers from the Sidney and North Saanich detachment went to the airport and took the man who claimed responsibility for the bag into custody, while a portion of the airport was cordoned off.

The second bag was found but could not be safely examined until specialized experts arrived, it says.

The departures wing was closed out of an abundance of caution, the RCMP statement says, before the airport reopened later Tuesday evening.

Sanchez says police are reminding travellers to confirm that items in their luggage are permitted on planes, or to get permission for certain items before flying.


ORIGINAL 7 a.m.

The Victoria International Airport reopened Tuesday night after all commercial flights were cancelled following the discovery of something that police said looked like "an incendiary device" in someone's luggage.

RCMP said the suspicious package was identified in the departures check-in area of the airport around 1:30 p.m. during a security scan.

It was seized by Canadian Air Transport Security Authority staff, police were called and a wing of the airport was closed to ensure travellers were safe, police said.

Specialized units from the Lower Mainland were called to inspect the item and the airport was closed for several hours out of an abundance of caution.

A news release from the airport late Tuesday said the checked baggage contained "an incendiary item and inert surplus military supplies."

RCMP Cpl. Andres Sanchez had said earlier that the person carrying the luggage was under investigation, but at that point he noted police were still determining the nature of the item before proceeding with any possible charges.

He said police did not believe there was any threat to the public, however members of the public were asked to avoid the area Tuesday evening.

No one from the RCMP was available late Tuesday to say if there was an update on possible charges.

The Victoria International Airport said it closed to commercial flights as the RCMP responded.

The airport later tweeted that the security incident had been resolved, and advised people to check the status of late flight arrivals.

Approximately 20 scheduled flights from 2:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. were cancelled, the news release from the airport stated.



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