Suspicious package closes Page Airport for 7 hours

Suspicious package closes Page Airport for 7 hours

TODD GLASENAPP Sun Correspondent | Posted: Sunday, March 13, 2011 5:00 am

PAGE — Page Municipal Airport was evacuated and closed for seven hours Friday after an airline passenger made a statement that included the word “bomb” to a TSA screener and was found to have luggage items with suspicious wiring.

Page Police said Ronnie G. Sanders, 40, of Arnold, Mo., was arrested and booked into the Coconino County Jail in Page on a charge of disorderly conduct for engaging in disruptive behavior which resulted in the closing of the airport and disrupting normal flight operations.

A news release said officers responded to a 5:46 a.m. call for assistance at the airport. Great Lakes Airlines was preparing for its 6 a.m. departure to Phoenix at the time. The initial call was to remove an intoxicated subject. The subject, later identified as Sanders, had purchased a ticket and was scheduled to fly out on Great Lakes. He was contacted and escorted off the property.

A subsequent investigation revealed that Sanders had made a statement that contained the word “bomb” to a TSA screener, and his luggage was found to have items with suspicious wiring, said the news release, issued by Police Chief Charlie Dennis.

The terminal was evacuated and Page Police and Fire units responded to secure the area for further investigation. The airport was closed until the articles in Sanders’ luggage were deemed to be safe. The investigation was aided by agents of the FBI, ATF and bomb technicians of the Arizona Department of Public Safety.


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