PORTLAND (AP) – The Portland International Jetport was evacuated for about an hour Tuesday morning when officials detected what they thought was a suspicious item in some baggage.

Portland Transportation Director Jeff Monroe said security officials later determined it was a musical intrument – possibly an electric flute, which has wires sticking out of it – that aroused suspicions shortly before 7 a.m.

After security personnel spotted the item in a baggage screening machine, they followed procedure by ordering people out of the airport and planes to back away from the terminal, Monroe said.

“That’s not something they do lightly,” he said.

The people who were evacuated gathered in car rental parking lots adjacent to the terminal. Monroe said about 20 flights were delayed because of the scare.

Transportation Security Administration officials were not immediately available for comment.

AP-ES-01-13-04 0846EST



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