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Sunport resumes operations after suspicious device cleared

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A man was arrested and charged in connection with a fake bomb found at the Albuquerque International Sunport — an incident that delayed flights, kept passengers from disembarking and shut down the security checkpoint on the 15th anniversary of 9/11, officials said.

Airport police closed the screening area and evacuated it while the Albuquerque Police Department’s explosive ordnance disposal team examined the device, which was found to be a fake bomb, airport spokesman Dan Jiron said.

Airport visitors were held in the Great Hall, a level below the screening area, he said, and passengers were kept in the concourse until police gave the “all clear” about 3:45 p.m., about two hours after the incident started. Passengers aboard arriving planes were not allowed to disembark during the incident.

Jiron said about a half-dozen flights experienced “significant” delays because of the incident, and others were experiencing shorter delays as airport operations returned to normal.

He said a man had been arrested and charged under the state law prohibiting fake or hoax bombs.

APD spokesman Simon Drobik referred all question to the local FBI office, but calls to an FBI spokesman were not immediately returned.

A brief email from FBI spokesman Frank Fisher Sunday evening said there had been “no public safety threat related to this incident.”