Toy Grenade Shuts Down Houston’s Hobby Airport Checkpoint


Updated 6:20 a.m.

An airport spokesman says a toy grenade in a passenger’s bag caused a temporary shutdown at a security checkpoint at Houston’s William P. Hobby Airport.

Houston Airport System spokesman Bill Begley says passengers are being allowed to go through the checkpoint after the brief shutdown Thursday morning.

An Associated Press journalist who was in the security line shortly after 4:30 a.m. heard Transportation Security Administration yell “Shut it down!”

Hobby Airport is a hub for Southwest Airlines. The website FlightAware shows delays of an hour or more for flights arriving and departing Hobby Airport.

The shutdown occurred a day after a bomb squad responded to Houston’s other airport, Bush Intercontinental, because of a passenger who made comments about explosives in a bag. That passenger was later detained by police but the international terminal was shut down for about an hour.

Updated at 6:03 a.m.

Hobby Airport Tweeted at 5:31 a.m. a device has been removed and TSA is re-opening the checkpoint. Delays are still expected. 

5:22 a.m. 

Passengers catching early-morning flights have been told to evacuate Houston’s William P. Hobby Airport.

According to an Associated Press journalist going through the checkpoint, Transportation Security Administration workers shouted “Shut it down! Everyone leave!” at about 4:35 a.m., forcing hundreds of people to evacuate.

Police referred questions to a command center, which had no immediate comment.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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