The bomb scare at Nigeria’s main gateway Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos on Tuesday night was a hoax, the country’s aviation authorities have said.
In a statement issued late Tuesday, they said the scare was triggered by the discovery of an unclaimed bag at the airport’s arrival hall, and the subsequent invitation of the police anti-bomb squad to the airport.
“It was an abandoned carry-on baggage/handbag with a British Airways tag with passenger name Salami A. Atolagbe-Aro that was discovered at the E-Arrival frontage at 1948hrs,” head of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Dr, Harold Demuren, said in the statement.
“The bag was thereafter (defused) by three men from the Police Bomb Disposal Unit at about 2058hrs. The contents of the bag were taken and (they) were personal effects and are currently in the custody of the FAAN (Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria) Aviation Security Crime Investigation Bureau,” he said.
While the bag was being examined, the police ordered the evacuation of the building, triggering the scare that was quickly spread via social networking sites and blackberry messaging service.
Nigerian authorities have strengthened security at key airports across the country following fears they could be targeted by the violent Islamic sect Boko Haram, which has killed over 1,200 people since 2009 through gun and bomb attacks