Victoria International Airport was evacuated today following a security breach. (Peninsula News Review File).

Victoria airport gates evacuated after screening alarm set off

Spray-can of sunscreen determined to be the culprit

A security breach at the Victoria International Airport caused airport security to evacuate the gates just after 9:20 a.m. on Saturday.

The pre-board screening alarm went off, indicating that a prohibited item — an aerosol can — had passed through, said Rod Hunchak, media representative for Airport Authority. The alarm was delayed and the passenger had already left with their bags.

“At the time, no information about the passenger or their flight was available,” said Hunchak.

Transport Canada and Airport Authority decided to evacuate the holding area — the side of the airport with the gates — in the interest of safety, he said. Some 800 passengers were moved back to the pre-security side of the airport while the holding area was searched.

READ ALSO: Victoria International Airport is one of two in the country operating debt free

Video footage helped staff locate the passenger and discovered that a bottle of aerosol sunscreen had set off the alarms, Hunchak explained.

screening was re-opened at 10:30 a.m. once staff had confirmed that the situation had been dealt with and all the passengers were asked to pass through again.

At 12:30 p.m., Hunchak said the passengers were still being re-screened. He wasn’t sure if anyone had missed their flights, but he assured that the airlines would be accommodating to their passengers.

It’s unusual for the alarm to be so delayed and for the passenger to move along so quickly, he said.

Passengers should be aware of the rules and prohibited items. He recommends re-checking all bags before going through security.

“It’s easy to forget an item,” he said.


@devonscarlett
devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

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