Panic as FAAN blows up unclaimed luggage at airport

Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos

There was panic at the Hajj and Cargo Terminal of the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos on Tuesday after the Bomb Control Unit of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria used an explosive device to blow up an unclaimed bag that was abandoned at the terminal.

According to FAAN, the incident happened at about 9.30am after the departure of the fourth flight that conveyed pilgrims from the airport’s Hajj Terminal to Saudi Arabia.

FAAN’s General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Mrs Henrietta Yakubu, who confirmed the incident, however, refuted rumours of a bomb scare at the Hajj and Cargo Terminal of the MMA.

Explaining what happened at the facility in a statement she issued on Tuesday, Yakubu said, “At about 9:30 am, an unattended bag was noticed at the Hajj and Cargo Terminal after the departure of the 4th flight for the intending pilgrims.

“The chief security officer of the Federal Airports Authority, Hajj and Cargo Terminal, as well as the Bomb Disposal Unit, were contacted and (they) began the process of finding out the owner and the content of the bag.”

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She added, “No one claimed ownership of the bag, so the decision to blow up the bag using an explosive device was made, which in turn caused some panic amongst the second batch of intending pilgrims waiting.”

Yakubu stated that after the detonation, it was discovered that the bag contained some copies of an Islamic guide that was meant to guide pilgrims with regards to their journey.

FAAN, therefore, advised passengers to be cautious of their belongings and ensure that all properties were securely kept, adding that it would like to assure the general public that there was no bomb and the Hajj and Cargo Terminal was safe and secure for flight operations.

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