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Oakland Airport Evacuated After Breach

September 17, 2004

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) _ Oakland International Airport was evacuated and all outbound flights were grounded for about an hour after a suspicious item passed through a security checkpoint, authorities said.

A screener became concerned about an image on his video monitor from an item that had passed through an X-ray machine Thursday evening. When airport officials could not match the image to a bag or passenger, they evacuated both terminals and grounded all departing flights around 9 p.m.

Airport officials also evacuated passengers who had already boarded planes, and passengers on incoming flights were not allowed to disembark.

All passengers waited outside the terminals while security officers and bomb-sniffing dogs searched the airport. The passengers were allowed back in to be re-screened shortly after 10 p.m., when officials determined that the area was secure.

By 11 p.m. security officials still hadn’t located the passenger or bag linked to the suspicious item. The image looked like a weapon, but was not an explosive, Kayser said.

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