Dummy bomb closes Norway airport

A fake bomb sparked the evacuation at one of Norway’s airports this week after a device intended for a military drill made its way onto a luggage belt. Officials could not explain how the dummy explosives ended up on the carousel at Flesland Airport in Bergen – Norway’s second biggest city.

After scanning the bag in the check-in area, security closed the busy hub for three hours believing they had discovered a genuine bomb. All passengers were evacuated as a bomb squad from Oslo was called to the scene.

According to Norwegian newspaper VG, it was the owner of the dummy device who first contacted the police.

“He is employed by the armed forces and brought with him a practice bomb that was used in a military exercise,” Bjarne Flokenes, who was leading the investigation, told the newspaper. “Inexplicably, the case ended up in wrong hands and ended up on the baggage belt,” he added.

Terje HIlland, a police spokesman, said the panic was quelled once the owner of the suspicious bag had been identified. “He explained that the bag contained an object that looked like explosives and was for use in a training exercise for the military,” he said. “But they failed to inform airport staff about the contents.”

Arild Tolleshaug, chairman of Selmatec Securities which supplies Norwegian airports with safety equipment, told VG newspaper that a package will trigger X-ray alarms if it contains certain components.

“A bomb must include a timer, such as a clock or computer, a ballast and explosives,” he said. “If these three things pop up on the screen, it is up to the security personnel to analyse the image and assess risk.

“It might be a bomb, or there may be articles that are completely random in their luggage, which make it look like it,” he added.

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