TORONTO: The international airport in the city of Victoria, the capital of the Canadian province of British Columbia, was closed to commercial aircraft on Tuesday after a suspicious bag was brought in by a passenger.
The airport was shut down on Tuesday afternoon. A “bag containing what appeared to be an incendiary device was responsible for shutting down” the airport, the outlet Times Colonist reported. It reopened late on Tuesday night, about seven hours later, after what was described as a “security incident” was “resolved” according to a tweet from the Victoria Airport Authority.
Earlier, the authority tweeted the bag, found around 1.30pm, had caused closure of the airport. It warned travellers “not to come to the airport at this time”.
A spokesperson for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in Sidney/North Saanich Corporal Andres Sanchez said the airport was closed to all outgoing and incoming flights “out of an abundance of caution as a result of a suspicious package”.
Personnel with the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority sounded the alert after the item was scanned at the departure check-in at the airport. They “realised” there was an item inside that could be of a “dangerous nature and at that point, police were called to the scene to come and investigate further”, Sanchez told reporters.
A specialised unit was called in to ensure the package was “dealt in a safe manner”.
The nature of the contents of the bag were not disclosed, not the identity of the person who brought it in, though that individual was under investigation, police said.
Sanchez said, “At this point, we are trying to determine if any criminal charges are applicable in this instance.”
In a tweet, the RCMP unit said, “There are no public safety concerns, however the public is being asked to avoid the Victoria Airport area.”