Alor Star airport closed after foreign couple claim to have bomb

ADIE SURI ZULKEFLI

ALOR STAR: A foreign couple caused panic at the Sultan Abdul Halim Airport here last night when one of them told the airport staff that there was a bomb in their luggage.


The 9pm incident prompted police to cordon off the airport for more than three hours, forcing a number of outbound and inbound flights to be cancelled.


The police's Bomb Disposal Unit was called to the scene for a thorough inspection of the luggage and the entire terminal.


State Fire and Rescue Department deputy director (operations) Nazri Zakaria said they were informed of the incident at about 11.11pm.


He said 31 firefighters from the Alor Star station were also placed on standby at the airport compound for any eventuality.


"The police Bomb Disposal Unit confirmed that there was no bomb at the departure terminal as claimed, and extensive inspection of the building also showed that there was no (explosive device)," Nazri said.


The operation ended at about 12.30am.


A source said that one of the couple made the remark about having a bomb while checking in their luggage at the departure terminal.


It was learnt that they were boarding the day’s last flight from Alor Star to Kuala Lumpur.


Police have detained the duo for investigation under Section 506 of the Penal Code for criminal intimidation, which carries a maximum seven years' imprisonment, or a fine, or both.