Christchurch resident Nick Fabish was on his way to check on his dog, Duke, as he was about to fly to Taranaki when he heard an alarm in the Christchurch Airport terminal building.
“We were just waiting for about 10 minutes, because the luggage conveyor belt had stopped working due to the alarm,” he said.
But then they were all told to evacuate.
For the next two and a half hours, Fabish, along with several other passengers, waited without explanation, before finally boarding his flight.
Airport security discovered a possible “improvised explosive device” hidden in a bag during a routine baggage scan at 8am on Thursday.
Fear of a bomb sparked an evacuation, delaying hundreds of flights.
Staff and passengers were evacuated from the building while police investigated.
“No one knew what was going on,” Fabish said, until a security guard mentioned to military personnel that an investigation was needed before anyone could return.
“I was just lucky I didn’t check out Duke at the time, because he was sitting at the airport not knowing.”
The defense force’s bomb disposal team was called in as a precaution, while sniffer dogs were used to push the airport into anything suspicious.
Police said they were talking to two people about the incident.
In a statement issued at 10.40am, an airport spokesman said staff and passengers had been allowed to return to the terminal.
The spokesman said police were responsible for the inquiry and said no threats had been made.
A passenger on a flight that landed in Christchurch at 8am said. Equipment They waited on the plane for more than two hours and were given limited information about what was happening.
Earlier, an aviation security spokesman said crews discovered a “homemade explosive device” hidden in a bag during a screening of the luggage.
Police said the bag belonged to a couple.
Sergeant Paul Piper said the Defense Force’s bomb disposal team used a machine to open the bag.
Piper said there was nothing suspicious inside.
It was not immediately clear what the matter was, and a police spokesman referred further questions to the Civil Aviation Authority, which has been contacted for comment.