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'Serious' phone threat shuts US airport

Flights at an airport in the US state of Virginia were delayed today and its terminal building evacuated after a "serious" threat was phoned in, officials and local media said.

world Updated: Jun 11, 2013 23:32 IST

Flights at an airport in the US state of Virginia were delayed on Tuesday and its terminal building evacuated after a "serious" threat was phoned in, officials and local media said.

On its Twitter feed (@Flack4RIC), Richmond International Airport said it had "received a threat by phone, deemed serious enough to evacuate the terminal as a precautionary measure."

Sniffer dogs swept the terminal, baggage areas and parking zones, while travelers were advised to check with their airlines for rebooking options, before the all-clear was given.

"Update: #RIC terminal, including airline desks and security screening, re-opened to the public," tweeted the airport four hours after receiving the undisclosed threat.

The Richmond News-Leader newspaper, on its website (www.timesdispatch.com), said at least a dozen morning departures had suffered delays, plus a smaller number of arrivals, affecting hundreds of passengers.

More than half a dozen airlines serve the state capital's airport.

Elsewhere, a "small electrical explosion" prompted a brief evacuation of a concourse at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in the southern state of Georgia.

"Passengers were evacuated but have returned," said the airport on its Twitter feed (@Atlanta_Airport). "No injuries reported... Full power has been restored and all operations have resumed."

Local television station WGCL traced the explosion to a ramp-level maintenance shop.