Local News

Cary Man at LAX as Explosive Scare Forces Evacuation

Posted May 17, 2007

— A mortar-shell scare forced authorities to briefly evacuate part of Los Angeles International Airport late Wednesday while a Cary, N.C., man waited for a flight.

Authorities said explosive-detecting equipment alerted them to some suspicious items inside checked baggage. Thomas Hudgins of Cary was at the airport when the terminal was shut down.

"A bomb squad just drove through a couple of minutes ago, like three or four trucks with 'bomb squad' written on them, and I got helicopters flying all around me," he said. "Everybody is real calm, you know. Nobody is angry, just more or less curious about what's going on."

According to an airport representative, the items turned out to be two replicas of mortar shells and had been purchased at a novelty shop.

Hudgins, a seminary student in California, was planning to fly to Central America to visit his girlfriend. Officials said flight operations were unaffected by the scare.


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  • Michael Kenyon May 18, 2007

    Turns out it was a piece of sprinkler pipe in the carry-on luggage of the owner of a sprinkler manufacturing company.

  • Steve Crisp May 18, 2007

    It's called a local angle, folks. It used to serve a specific purpose in the newspaper business in that the best way to boost circulation is to make sure that everyone in town had their names in the paper at least once per year. Now that we have a large city, television does the same thing with what could be called a representative sample. They take Everyman and look for the local hook. Everyman then represents a broad portion of the population that now feels included.

    However, this story also serves another purpose (I think) without WRAL realizing it. It shows that no one is immune to potential terrorist actions, even when doing mundane things that people do all the time. I wish someone had explored the angle of emergency preparedness in the wake of 9-11. Because things like this happen hundreds of times per day all over the country. And some of them may actually be stopping real terrorists because of heightened awareness by the public and law enforcement.

  • chivegas May 17, 2007

    Man from Garner flies to San Francisco, airline loses his bag, film at 11.

  • buck121794 May 17, 2007

    This just in-A man from Denver was spotted at the same airport!

  • chivegas May 17, 2007

    OMG, I can't believe the nerve of LAX to inconvenience a caryite! I'm just glad there wasn't anyone there from Rocky Mount! Is this story a joke?1

  • dell May 17, 2007

    Im surprised our comments are still up.

  • NCSUSally May 17, 2007

    I notice that this report has no contributing reporter or editor under it. I bet they made them take their name off because they were emabarrassed they even wrote this.

  • Bigguns May 17, 2007

    I wonder if anyone from Atlanta or Chicago was there at LAX. I didn't see anything about it on their local news web-sites. :-P

  • e2brtus May 17, 2007

    language in this state is largely colloqual,dialects are common in other country's including ours.Observe the use of conversational english in any Borders,Bar or Wendy's and you will notice a blend of slang and jargon depending on location; in this area we have a mixture of grossly misused proper english with 19th century Oxford Proper.I, kind folk; was merely poking fun at my co worker who did not know what LAX was...

  • redsector May 17, 2007

    Funny... I said it must have been a slow news day, and WRAL removed my comment!!! Truth hurts I guess.