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FBI Helping Investigate Bomb Threats That Forced Fairbanks Airport Terminal Evacuation

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The FBI and Fairbanks International Airport police are investigating two bomb threats called-in to the airport Wednesday night. The terminal was evacuated for a little more than an hour, but no bomb was found and no one was injured. Two Alaska Airlines flights were delayed.

Airport spokeswoman Sammie Loud says the terminal was evacuated just after 9 last night after a dispatcher with the airport communications center got the first of two phoned-in bomb threats.

“We received the threat at 9:04 p.m., and the terminal was reopened and operational after an extensive sweep, at 10:14 p.m,” Loud said. She says the dispatcher got a second threat two minutes after the first. By then, authorities had begun to evacuate the nearly 200 people in the terminal and launched a search for a bomb, with help from Fort Wainwright’s explosives ordnance unit.

Alaska State Troopers helped airport police handle traffic during the evacuation, which ended after no bomb was found.

Loud says due to an ongoing investigation, she could not talk much about what the caller said – except to say the caller did not indicate that the bomb was targeted at anyone or any specific airline or agency at the airport.

“I can say that it wasn’t directed at any particular person in the terminal,” she said. “It was directed at the building itself.”

Loud says the evacuation delayed an inbound Alaska Airlines flight for about 15 minutes, and that the aircraft was parked on the south cargo apron, away from the terminal, while the evacuation and sweep were in progress. She says an outbound Alaska Airlines flight was delayed by about 30 minutes.

Loud says she believes this is Fairbanks International’s first bomb threat – or at least, neither she nor her boss could recall the airport receiving any such threat over the previous decade.

She says authorities have not increased the level of security at the airport as a result of the incident. And she says the FBI is helping airport police with the investigation.