Bomb squad removes ‘suspicious’ item from aircraft at St. George Regional Airport

ST. GEORGE — Authorities safely removed a suspicious item from an aircraft at St. George Regional Airport Monday afternoon.

The item was reportedly found by airline personnel shortly after the airplane, a CRJ-700, landed around 11:30 a.m.

SkyWest Flight 3027, operating as American Eagle from Phoenix to St. George, had just landed when SkyWest personnel noticed the item aboard the aircraft and notified authorities, according to airline spokesperson Marissa Snow.

“Authorities investigated and cleared the aircraft for departure,” Snow said in a statement.

St. George Regional Airport operations supervisor Brad Kitchen told St. George News a member of the Washington County Bomb Squad was able to safely remove the item from the aircraft without incident, after which the airplane was searched by trained K-9 officers.

The item in question turned out to be harmless, Kitchen added, noting that the scene was cleared shortly after 2:30 p.m.

Washington County Bomb Squad team member Jason Whipple prepares to enter an aircraft in order to remove a suspicious package aboard, St. George Regional Airport, St. George, Utah, Sept. 14, 2020 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

Authorities did not publicly disclose specifically what kind of item it was nor why it was thought to be suspicious.

Other than the affected flight, whose passengers had to wait a while to get their checked luggage, no other arriving flights were impacted by the incident, Kitchen said.

“Two other flights arrived with no delay,” he said.

However, flights that were scheduled to depart Monday afternoon did experience some delays, Kitchen added later. (See Ed. note)

Agencies responding to the incident included the St. George Fire Department, St. George Police Department, St. George Aircraft Rescue 21, Washington County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad, Gold Cross Ambulance and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Dixie Regional Medical Center provided the explosive-detecting K-9 officer.

This report is based on preliminary information from officials and may not contain the full scope of findings.

Ed. note: An earlier version of this story indicated that no other flights were delayed as a result of the incident response. It has been updated to clarify that while incoming flights were not affected, some outgoing flights did experience delays.

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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