CHARLESTON – Earlier this afternoon, Charleston International Airport (CHS) in South Carolina was evacuated after a suspicious package was found by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents.
Passengers inside the terminal were quickly directed to exit, and those onboard aircraft were told to deplane. The parking garage area served as an evacuation area for passengers and staff.
“The terminal is empty and everyone is safe,” said CEO of Charleston County Aviation Authority Elliott Summey.
Despite the ‘all clear’, departures from CHS have been delayed beyond 2PM, according to flightradar24. The flights scheduled to land during the evacuation period were diverted to nearby airports including Charlotte Douglas International (CLT) and Savannah/Hilton Head International (SAV). In some cases, flights headed for CHS from CLT were even grounded.
The entrance to the airport is blocked off, according to a source close to the local CBS affiliate news station.
Specific information regarding the incident has yet to be provided. Authorities did not release details regarding the package’s contents, or the individual connected to the suspicious item.
Elliott Summey gave credit to preparation made in advance of this incident. “We have all of the procedures always in place to make sure that when these sorts of things happen, then effectively and efficiently we get everyone to safety and that is what was done here today”, he said.
This is a developing story. As more details are released, they will be made available.
Featured Image: Baggage claim area at Charleston International Airport. PHOTO: Autorentals/Wikimedia