Beeping Alarm Clock Shuts Down Palm Beach International Airport for Several Hours

PBI Airport courtesy of the Palm Beach Post


According to an article from the Palm Beach Post,

PBI Airport courtesy of the Palm Beach Post

PBI Airport courtesy of the Palm Beach Post

WEST PALM BEACH — A beeping alarm clock in a piece of luggage put airport workers on edge Saturday, prompting them to call the county’s explosive experts.

The suspicious bag caused two floors of Palm Beach International Airport to be evacuated and close for several hours, delaying flights.

David and Joshua Pierre-Louis were getting their great aunt’s IBC Air boarding pass for a noon flight to Haiti when police ordered them outside, along with everyone around them.

That was at about 11:30 a.m., the brothers said. They didn’t get back inside until almost 2 p.m.

“We were literally about to hit enter to print the ticket,” said David Pierre-Louis, who made the trip from Fort Lauderdale expecting check-in to move more quickly than in his crowded home airport.

The beeping came from a hard-sided case near the Silver Airways’ ticket counter, said Eric Davis, a spokesman for Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.

“They deemed it needed more investigation,” said airport spokeswoman Sandy Davis.

The Sheriff’s Office’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal team arrived at about 12:45 p.m. They were still there just before 2 p.m.. Several patrol cars and a bomb squad van blocked departures lanes and short-term parking.

By 2:15 p.m. the airport looked the same as it usually does.

Davis, the airport spokeswoman, said she’d been told only the Silver Airways counter area had been cordoned off and that passengers for that airline’s flights were checking in at other counters.

But passengers said that wasn’t the case because they had been sent outside and no one was allowed in during the investigation.

Davis said she couldn’t recall the last time the airport called in explosive experts for a suspicious bag. But the Transportation Safety Administration has found guns in baggage eight times this year.

Lesson learned: Never pack an alarm clock. If you do, turn off your alarm clock.


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