MORRISVILLE, N.C. — Officials reopened Terminal C at
Raleigh-Durham International Airport
to travelers Tuesday afternoon after a discarded bag prompted an evacuation.
An unattended package was found in a women's restroom around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday. Authorities later said the package turned out to be an empty gym bag.
Officials found the owner of the bag, who said she bought a new bag and threw away the old one. The owner works for a medical supply company and used to have nitroglycerin in the bag, which bomb-sniffing dogs may have detected.
Travelers were sent to a parking deck across a street from the terminal and airlines were advised not to taxi up to the terminal.
Almost two hours later, authorities considered the terminal safe and travelers were allowed to return. However, the terminal's reopening caused some major headaches.
"When they did let people in, it was just a mob," traveler Patty Wasson said. "People were lined up outside, so it was like a mad rush trying to get in."
Authorities later said the owner of the bag had missed her earlier flight and was part of the evacuation. Officials said when she returned home and heard about the incident, she contacted them. Authorities are not releasing the woman's name.
Airport officials said about 300 travelers were affected by the evacuation. It was the first time a terminal at RDU International had ever been evacuated.