OR Tambo: What caused Monday’s

Section 27

OR Tambo: What caused Monday’s mass airport evacuation?

Could it have been handled better?

OR Tambo: What caused Monday’s

Section 27

Johannesburg’s OR Tambo airport was evacuated earlier on Monday, after a bomb scare was sparked by an item of unattended baggage.

The official police version of events confirmed that a suspicious piece of luggage was reported at one of the terminal buildings, which lead to a total evacuation. Speaking to News24, airport spokesperson Leigh Gunkel-Keuler was able to confirm this.

What caused “loud bangs” at OR Tambo?

Some travellers reported hearing loud bangs whilst passing through the airport. However, this was not related to the item found by airport staff. In fact, it would seem like miscommunication has done nothing to help the situation.

A police training drill seems to be responsible for the noise. Part of the terminal was being used to conduct a hostage scenario and looks to have taken everyone by surprise:

Bad timing creates a panic at Jozi’s biggest airport

Although, one has to wonder about the timekeeping skills of our authorities. If this drill were to take place at its scheduled time, there might have been less panic. The message certainly didn’t reach a panicked public, and those reported bangs created a perfect storm of panic and paranoia.

The airport has since re-opened after the suspicious item was cleared from harm’s way. Gunkel-Keuler also stated that the canine unit were called upon to detect if there was anything explosive in the bag.

The spokesperson also told travellers to expect slight delays following this incident.

Also read: Two SA Passengers arrested for making bomb threats at OR Tambo