Rare Evacuation at Rick Husband International Airport

By Sarah Seeley
NewsChannel 10

Amarillo, Texas - A rare evacuation caused major delays at Rick Husband International Airport today.

Passengers and visitors were put on lock down after a suspicious package in a passenger's luggage set off a red flag to TSA screeners.

Calm, but tired passengers slowly emerged from the parking garage, bags in hand.

They say airport personnel made an announcement that everyone needed to evacuate.

"They ended up just taxiing us out to I guess the middle of one of the strips to try and get us far enough away from the building," said passenger Brent Kirby. "That [way] if anything happened then obviously [we wouldn't] be exploded."

TSA screeners quickly notified Amarillo bomb investigators something wasn't right.

Their investigation proved everything was safe.

"It wasn't anything harmful," said Amarillo Sergeant Brent Barbee.  "It was indeed a household item, however it was wrapped in a manner that might make someone suspicious who was viewing it."

Passengers we spoke with say there was no panic and airport officials kept them informed at all times.

"Everybody was pretty calm and a couple people were tired and hungry and what not," said passenger Brandon Bridges.  "I think one flight was going to Vegas and they were ready to get to Vegas."

"I think maybe people might worry a little bit when they see the explosives people called out, but you have to understand that's a very, very valuable tool," said Barbee.   "Just because we called them out doesn't mean we think it's a bomb."

Immediate response by everyone involved proved to officials at the airport they are ready for even more serious situations.