Fake grenade in bag at MIA restroom prompts concourse evacuation

MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, FLA. (WSVN) - Miami International Airport returned to normal Saturday night after a suspicious package that turned out to be a fake explosive was found in a bathroom and triggered the partial evacuation of a concourse.

Miami-Dade Police and Fire Rescue responded to Concourse J, just before 8 p.m.

According to the Transportation Security Administration, an airport employee discovered an unattended bag in a restroom on the public side of the terminal, near a checkpoint, forcing police to clear the area.

“They didn’t tell us anything. They just said, ‘Get out,'” said one traveler. “I said, ‘I’m out,’ and I went across the street.”

“I get to this terminal and then they told me to go across the street,” said another traveler.

A Twitter use posted cellphone video showing passengers frantically trying to exit the terminal.

Two checkpoints were closed, and the Miami-Dade Police Bomb Squad was called in.

Police said the employee found what looked like a grenade inside the bag. “It looked real enough for us to implement our safety procedures,” said Miami-Dade Police Detective Lee Cowart.

The bomb squad arrived at the terminal and carefully examined the contents of the bag. “It was determined by the bomb squad and the K-9 units to be inert,” said Cowart.

Police then performed a security sweep of the terminal and, after about two hours, gave the all clear and allowed passengers to re-enter.

“Our investigators will continue looking at that and will determine if any charges [will be filed] or if we can identify anybody,” said Cowart.

Officials said about seven flights were delayed as a result of the incident, leaving some passengers stranded.

“I have to be at work on Monday, and it’s a 13-hour flight from here,” said a traveler.

“Our flights are all delayed, so we’re hoping that we’re going to get home in time,” said another flyer.

At this moment, police do not know if the bag was placed in the restroom on purpose or whether they will file charges.

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