Bomb squad searches jet at BIA, finds nothing

The Bangor Police Bomb Squad was called to the Bangor International Airport to investigae a suspicious package Saturday early afternoon. (Bangor Daily News/Gabor Degre)
BDN
The Bangor Police Bomb Squad was called to the Bangor International Airport to investigae a suspicious package Saturday early afternoon. (Bangor Daily News/Gabor Degre)
Posted Dec. 11, 2010, at 1:27 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — An investigation Saturday afternoon into a suspicious package that brought the city’s bomb squad to Bangor International Airport revealed nothing amiss, Theodore Woo, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said Sunday.

“In this instance, a canine detector dog alerted to an area of an aircraft, but upon further inspection it was determined to be negative,” he said.

Bangor Police Department’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team was sent to BIA around 11:15 a.m. Saturday to investigate a suspicious package on a small plane and spent more than three hours looking into the matter, Sgt. Paul Edwards said Saturday.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents with assistance from Bangor police Officer Chris Desmond and his explosives-detecting dog Pele made a routine check of the 22-seat Gulfstream Aerospace turbojet shortly after it landed, Edwards said.

“The dog hit on something, so they’re going to check it out,” he said Saturday.

That is when Bangor’s bomb squad was called in.

Bangor Police Department’s local command vehicle also was parked near the small plane, which was stopped on the tarmac to the left of the airport’s terminal early Saturday afternoon.

The twin-turbojet airplane started its journey in Portugal and was on its way to Texas, Woo said.

“The plane wanted to clear here in Bangor because it is the first point of entrance” into the United States, he said. “That is something that is not unusual. They choose to clear here.”

The visiting aircraft was the only one inspected Saturday, Woo said.

“No other ones” were checked, he said. “That doesn’t mean this one was anything unusual. It was a routine examination.”

Woo, who is based in the Boston area, explained that partnering with police assigned to the airport is commonplace.

“As part of routine inspections of aircraft, Customs and Border Protection will sometimes utilize canine officers to assist in the examination process,” he said.

The aircraft inspected at BIA is registered to Global Mission, a corporation based in Delaware, according to the Federal Aviation Administration’s online registry. Woo did not know how many people were aboard the plane or how long it was delayed in Bangor.

Bangor police Lt. Tom Regan said the bomb squad and the department’s emergency response vehicle returned to the police station around 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

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