Birmingham flights resume after threat investigation

Birmingham flights resume after threat investigation

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Outside the Birmingham airport terminal, which was evacuated Sunday afternoon due to an unknown threat. (Courtesy: Tony Byram/WBRC) Outside the Birmingham airport terminal, which was evacuated Sunday afternoon due to an unknown threat. (Courtesy: Tony Byram/WBRC)
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -

Airport officials at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport say they evacuated the terminal for a little over two hours Sunday afternoon after a threatening note was found in one of the bathrooms.

FOX 6 Birmingham reported that the note stated there was an explosive device in the airport, but nothing were found by law enforcement after a full sweep.

The FAA stopped flights heading to the airport from taking off at their departing airports. Over a dozen flight en route were diverted to airports in Huntsville, Montgomery, Little Rock and Atlanta.

An intercom message asked passengers to"make haste" to the nearest exit shortly after 4 p.m. CST. Witnesses say they were pushed far back from the terminal entrance and were not allowed to get to their vehicles in parking garage.

Many of those evacuated took to social media sites to share pictures of the hundreds of people streaming out of the terminal following the evacuation order, and gave first-hand accounts of the incident.

Licensed pilot and FOX 6 chief meteorologist J.P. Dice was at the airport at the time of the incident. He reported that pilots were being told to move their planes away from the terminal.

A source with the FBI says they assisted the Joint Terrorism Task Force that includes the Birmingham Police Department in investigating the threat.  The airport was cleared for employees just after 6 p.m. CST, with passengers being allowed back into the terminal about a half-hour later.

The Birmingham evacuation happened just two days after a gunman opened fire at Los Angeles International Airport. Authorities say he shot and killed a TSA officer and wounded three other people.

The Associated Press and FOX 6 Birmingham contributed to this report

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