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Suspicious bag found to be safe after Grand Forks airport evacuated

The terminal at the Grand Forks International Airport was evacuated early Friday afternoon after security discovered a suspicious item in a checked bag, but police later determined it was not a threat.

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First responders were stationed at the Grand Forks International Airport Friday afternoon after a suspicious bag was reported. Photo by John Hageman

The terminal at the Grand Forks International Airport was evacuated early Friday afternoon after security discovered a suspicious item in a checked bag, but police later determined it was not a threat.

Grand Forks police were called to the airport just after noon Friday after Transportation Security Administration staff discovered a suspicious item during a routine scan, Lt. Bill Macki said.

"Based on the appearance and the lack of a real sound explanation as to what it could be, out of precaution the airport was evacuated," he said. About 100 passengers and employees left the terminal for 10 to 15 minutes, a police news release said.

The police department's bomb team leader came to the terminal, reinterviewed the bag's owner and reviewed the image the TSA scanner flagged. He tentatively identified the item and felt comfortable enough to perform a hand search of the bag, Macki said.

"At that point, we were able to render that the bag was not a threat," Macki said. The news release identified the item as a battery-powered white noise maker that was with other benign items.

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The bag's owner will not face any charges, Macki said.

The Grand Forks Police Department, Grand Forks Fire Department, Altru Ambulance and the airport's fire department responded to the call.

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First responders were stationed at the Grand Forks International Airport Friday afternoon after a suspicious bag was reported. Photo by John Hageman

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