Suspicious item sparks evacuation of Terminal 4 ticket area at Sky Harbor

Posted: Updated:
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

Police give all-clear

PHOENIX -- The discovery of a potentially suspicious item in Terminal 4 at Sky Harbor International Airport sparked an evacuation of the ticket area on level 2 Monday.

Police responded to the airport at about 11:30 a.m. and immediately ushered people out of the Terminal 4 ticket area.

The item that sparked the evacuation reportedly was a cooler in a garbage can.

The bomb squad was called in to handle the situation. One of the first responders told 3TV's Mike Watkiss that a bomb-sniffing dog "hit" on the garbage can, which added to the concern about what was in the cooler.

Investigators determined that the cooler did not contain explosives and did not pose any danger.

Airport officials said customers and employees were evacuated as a precaution as soon as the cooler was reported. It's not clear how many people were affected.

In addition to the evacuation, there were roadway restrictions outside level 2 of Terminal 4. Those restrictions were affecting traffic into Sky Harbor, reported 3TV's Kristine Harrington.

Along with the Terminal 4 ticketing level, the area directly below the garbage can was cleared, as well. The rest of the baggage claim area (level 1) and the gates, restaurants and shops (level 3) were not affected.

The evacuation lasted about 90 minutes. Once police gave the all-clear, the ticket area was reopened and normal operations resumed.

"People are running around the airport. It's the craziness you usually see," Watkiss said in a special report. "It doesn't look like anything sinsister is going on here."

Terminal 4 serves US Airways, Southwest Airlines, Aeromexico, Air Canada, AirTran, British Airways and WestJet.

Although it is now business as usual at Sky Harbor, it's always a good idea to check your flight status with the airline before going to the airport to catch a flight or to drop off or pick up a passenger.

Phone numbers

  • US Airways -- 1-800-428-4322
  • Southwest Airlines -- 1-800-I-FLY-SWA
  • Aeromexico -- 1-800-237 6639
  • Air Canada -- 888-247-2262
  • AirTran -- 1-800-AIR-TRAN (1-800-247-8726) or 678-254-7999
  • British Airways -- 1-800-AIRWAYS or 1-800-247-9297
  • WestJest -- 1-888-937-8538 (1-888-WESTJET)