DIA reopens section of terminal after police clear suspicious items; no threat found

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DENVER — Police cleared suspicious items that forced the evacuation of a section of the main terminal at Denver International Airport on Tuesday afternoon and no threat was found, the Denver Police Department said.

Bomb-sniffing dogs made a positive hit on some packages inside the west side of the terminal. It turned out the packages contained spices and oils, and were not a danger.

Officials said it is not unusual for dogs to indicate false positives when checking luggage.

To be cautious, police evacuated the west side of the main terminal at levels 5 and 6, from doors 600 to 610, which includes the ticket counter at American Airlines, during the incident. They also evacuated the baggage claim area at level 5.

The threat came from packages found in front of one of the airline ticket counters. The Transportation Security Agency reported the packages to airport authorities. Reports said dogs sniffed the packages and alerted officials.

Denver police bomb squad was on the scene, as well as the FBI as the situation developed over the course of about three hours.

Police and the airport made the decision to evacuate because the alert was strong enough to take necessary precautions.

“Any day of the week, any time this is what we would do. This is our standard procedure for anything suspicious,” airport spokeswoman Stacey Stegman said.

The airport also closed the roadway into the west terminal until officials could evaluate situation. Vehicle traffic was allowed to the east side.

Flight delays were possible because the situation affected several airlines such as American, Air Mexico, Air Canada, Lufthansa and British Airways. Passengers with outbound flights might have to deal with some delays.

The airlines coordinated with each other to move baggage to the east side of the terminal as to not delay arriving passengers.

RTD riders also dealt with delays that should be over now. RTD said all SkyRide, 145X and 169L buses are resuming service at the west terminal.

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