Suspicious package prompts evacuation of airport in northern Alberta

rcmp carThe Canadian Press

FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. - The airport in Fort McMurray, Alta., has been evacuated as a precaution as RCMP respond to a report of a suspicious package.

RCMP say they were alerted to the package on Friday afternoon.

The area was secured and the call was put out for help from the Explosive Device Unit from RCMP headquarters in Edmonton.

Staff-Sgt. Jeremie Landry said late Friday that it was taking some time for that unit to get to the northern Alberta city, and he said he expected the investigation would be ongoing into Saturday morning.

Joanne Meredith, spokesman for the Fort McMurray Airport Authority, said all incoming flights were allowed to land but she wasn’t sure how the situation would affect outgoing flights in the morning.

She said the safety of passengers was their primary concern.

“The airport authority decided to evacuate passengers to the Chateau Nova Hotel for the passenger comfort,” she said. “This was just a precautionary measure.”

She said as inbound flights arrived, the planes were diverted to the airport’s old terminal on the north side and passengers were also moved to the hotel.

She said arriving passengers who had vehicles parked in the main lot were escorted there and allowed to leave.

© The Canadian Press, 2015

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