Operations at Terminal 2 at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport returned to normal Wednesday after authorities found a suspicious item in the morning and evacuated the terminal, airport officials said.
The ticketing lobby and checkpoints reopened just after 6 a.m. after the Bloomington Bomb Squad cleared the item, which turned out to be a rice cooker. The man who left the cooker behind was arrested, said airport spokeswoman Melissa Scovronski. X-rays revealed the rice cooker contained only spices.
Airport officials closed the terminal, where the major carrier is Southwest Airlines, about 4:30 a.m. after the cooker was found near a trash can in the ticketing lobby near Door No. 3, Scovronski said.
“We didn’t know what might be in the device until after it was X-rayed by the bomb squad,” said airport spokesman Patrick Hogan. “Ultimately it contained only spices. The owner was identified and cited with a misdemeanor ordinance violation for unattended container.”
Passenger Marcy Woodard, who was on her way from the Twin Cities to Chicago for a business meeting, arrived at Terminal 2 around 5:30 a.m. As she walked across the skyway from the parking ramp to the terminal, airport officials stopped passengers from entering the terminal and told them to go back to the parking garage.
“It was confusing,” she said. “They never made any announcements about what was going on. They asked us to evacuate. It was unnerving without any information.”
Woodard said passengers were pretty calm.
Flights were delayed and were taking off about 30 minutes late due to the incident, she said.
No one was hurt, Scovronski said.