Local News

Cary Man at LAX as Explosive Scare Forces Evacuation

Posted May 17, 2007 7:14 a.m. EDT
Updated May 17, 2007 8:03 a.m. EDT

— 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.