- Pandemonium broke out at OR Tambo International Airport yesterday when passengers heard, what sounded like, gunshots or explosions
- Airport’s spokesperson Leigh Gunkel-Keuler highlighted that an unattended piece of luggage signaled a red flag which lead to the calling of the police
- Police spokesperson Colonel Katlego Mogale gave the green light for the airport after careful inspection and operations went on with little delay
Mayhem hit OR Tambo International Airport yesterday. With claims of what sounded like a gunshot or an explosion, distressed passengers hit social media with photos and videos of the commotion.
Passengers and staff had to be evacuated following a routine emergency evacuation in light of a possible bomb scare.
Airport’s spokesperson Leigh Gunkel-Keuler stated that there was piece of unattended luggage left at the airport terminal building near the international arrival hall. This unattended piece of luggage raised suspicion and prompted airport management to contact the police.
“As part of normal protocol, since we are a national key point and an international airport with thousands of users and staff, we had to call police. As part of safety protocol by police, we had to isolate that area. Even staff were evacuated,” she told The Citizen yesterday.
Police’s K9 unit used dog to sniff the area. Hundreds of terrified civilians shuffled to get out of the building, whilst some stuck around to see what would be found. Videos of the commotion took quickly to social media, frightening family and friends who had loved ones at the scene.
Police spokesperson Colonel Katlego Mogale expressed that it was merely the sound of a “controlled detonation” when the unattended bag was inspected. People’s claims of having heard “a loud bang” and multiple explosions, seem to be exaggerated statements of fear.
According to Colonel Katlego Mogale, the unattended bag has been taken in for further inspection and is being held as evidence.
OR Tambo is back in operation. Gunkel-Keuler expressed that the disturbance had caused slight flight delays, but operations were back in order and passengers had nothing to be worried about.
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