Fort Wayne International Airport back open after threat forces evacuation


Fort Wayne Police block an entrance to Fort Wayne International Airport on Friday, Aug. 6, 2021.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Fort Wayne International Airport was evacuated Friday afternoon after a bomb threat on a plane. The terminal has since reopened.

The airport said it had received a “potential threat to airport and passenger safety and security.”

Passengers line up at the entrance to TSA screening after Fort Wayne International Airport was reopened after being evacuated for a bomb threat on August 6, 2021.

Airport Executive Director Scott Hinderman said a tweet was discovered that indicated a bomb was on the next outbound Delta flight. The initial tweet did not seem to be credible, Hinderman said, but airport staff found a bag with “abnormalities” around the same time a passenger on a flight wanted to get off a flight and rebook.

The Fort Wayne Police Department’s bomb technicians and a K9 was called in to investigate the bag. Hinderman said the bag never made it onto the flight; it was going through the process of being loaded, he said.

At that point, the Airport Authority evacuated the airport of all passengers and staff, and departure flights were grounded.javascript:false

“Hopefully, like a lot of bomb threats, this is an exercise in an abundant of caution,” said Hinderman.

It was. The airport terminal reopened just after 4 p.m.

During the investigation, the airport still accepted incoming flights, but passengers were not allowed in the airport terminal. Some were deplaned at the Fort Wayne Aero Center, and others remained on planes, Hinderman said.javascript:false

Flights to Chicago, Detroit and Myrtle Beach were delayed.

Many questions remain unanswered, including what became of the passenger who wanted off the flight and whether that passenger was linked to the bag with “abnormalities.”

Hinderman said he has no memory of a bomb threat that forced an evacuation of the airport in the 14 years he’s been there.

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