Concourses At Hopkins Reopened Following Security Breach

CLEVELAND - Concourses C and D at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport were evacuated late Friday morning following a breach of security, Action News' Wendy Gillette reported.

The Action News chopper was first in the air, where a huge group of people could be seen on the ground standing outside of the concourses, which house Continental and Northwest airlines.

Continental has a hub in Cleveland.

Both concourses have since reopened, and the airport is now operating normally.

Twenty Continental flights and 56 Continental Express flights were affected by the closure of the concourses. No flights were cancelled, and a Continental spokesperson said that the airline is slowly catching up.

The evacuation occurred

, in part,
because a piece of luggage that was automatically inspected after being taken off of an airplane could not be matched to any of the passengers on that plane, according to Airport Commissioner Fred Szabo.

A

lso, a
screening machine
reportedly
detected explosives in a
bag
. It is not known whether that bag is the piece of luggage already mentioned because airport security officers have yet to find the bag that set off the baggage-screening machine.

The machines have returned false readings before, said Yolanda

Bevill, a spokeswoman for Mayor Jane Campbell.

A baggage screener failed to notice that a bag had triggered the bomb detector until more than an hour after it was set off. By the time a second screener noticed the alarm, the bag was already long gone.

Szabo said that passengers were taken off of 14 airplanes that were docked at the gates.

Bevill added that all of the passengers were re-screened.

Last October, two concourses at the airport were closed for 3

1/2 hours when a security device gave what turned out to be a false reading indicating explosives in a carry-on bag. No explosives were
found.

St. Louis-based Huntleigh International recently took over security at the airport.

Continental said that they would like to remind airline passengers that they should call ahead of time to make sure that their flight is running on time. They also said that passengers could check the status of their flight by logging on to their Web site (link is located near the top-right corner of this page).

Authorities are still at the scene, where they continue to search for the missing bag.

Action News is also at the scene with multiple crews and will continue to keep you updated throughout the day.

(Copyright 2001 WorldNow. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this story. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)