An incendiary device was in a scanned bag at Victoria airport

Incendiary device and surplus inert military supplies found in the bag the passenger brought to the airport. Security personnel raised the alarm after the bag was scanned.

A suspicious bag scanned at Victoria International Airport has been confirmed to contain an incendiary device and inert surplus military supplies, the airport said in a statement late Tuesday.

The bag brought by a passenger was scanned shortly after 1:30 p.m. in the departure check-in area by Canadian Air Transport Security Authority personnel.

“They scanned the bag and realized there were items inside that could be [of] of a dangerous nature and at that time the police were called to the scene to come and investigate further,” the RCMP Corporal said. said Andrew Sanchez during an evening press conference.

All inbound and outbound flights have been suspended until police can determine if it is safe for the public to travel, Sanchez said.

Specialists were brought to the Vancouver airport to take the item offsite and determine what was in the bag.

“The call for duty is confirmed to be an inflammatory item and inert surplus military supplies contained in checked baggage,” an airport statement said.

Twenty scheduled flights were canceled between 2:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

“As always, the safety and security of our staff and visitors is our priority,” said Geoff Dickson, chief executive of the Victoria Airport Authority.

Parts of the terminal building were closed after police became concerned about the safety of staff and passengers, he said.

The airport resumed regular operations on Tuesday evening.

Sanchez did not describe the object inside the bag, except to say that it looked like an incendiary device. The individual who brought the bag to the starting area is being investigated, he said.

“At this point, we are trying to determine if criminal charges are applicable in this case,” he said. “Again, because we don’t know specifically what’s in that bag, we can’t say more.”

He did not know how many flights were affected but said the airport was full of passengers. Travelers were urged to check with their airline or visit the airport’s website for flight updates.

Cancellations have left passengers scrambling to find alternative transportation. Helijet, which operates scheduled flights from Victoria Airport to the Port of Vancouver, Port of Nanaimo and Vancouver International Airport, has received a flurry of calls to book flights, spokesman Rick said. Hill.

Some airlines were able to rebook travelers on Wednesday flights, but others faced longer waits.

Cathy, who would not give her last name, was trying to get home to Toronto. “We’re stuck, our rebooking isn’t until Saturday,” she said. “Or we have to go to the ferry and go to Vancouver.”

She was already checked in when she learned the flights had been cancelled. “Everyone has been asked to pack up and leave, so here we are.”

Carolyn and Erwin Beitel were still hoping to make it to Calgary on Tuesday night en route to Regina and Emerald Lake.

“We heard different things, that Trudeau was in town and that’s why all the security was there,” Erwin Beitel said. “And then we heard something about luggage somewhere.”

Carolyn Beitel said she saw a man being arrested.

“I was watching my flights and not paying attention, then all of a sudden I heard this scream,” she said.

“They turned this man around and they tried to handcuff him. The policeman was yelling at him to put his hands back in place. He put handcuffs on her.

Travelers remained in the terminal, although some areas were closed.

Greg Pierce, who lives in Calgary, said he found it “weird” that he couldn’t walk from where he dropped off his bag at security. The area was cordoned off and he had to walk outside instead.

“I was sitting there waiting for my flight working on my laptop and I looked and noticed there was no plane,” he said. “It was about five minutes before we were due to leave. They called and said it was cancelled.

Pierce said he received an email saying he had booked a flight on Wednesday, “which isn’t great. I’m lucky to have a flexible job and could even work from a hotel if I need it.

“I’m going to miss 12 hours of my life because they were pretty cautious, which I don’t think is a big deal, but I’m pretty privileged.”

cjwilson@timescolonist.com

ngrossman@timescolonist.com

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