Aerosol can forces evacuation at Victoria airport
Victoria International Airport is seen in this file photo. (CTV)
Ian Holliday, CTV Vancouver Island
Published Saturday, July 13, 2019 2:02PM PDT
Last Updated Saturday, July 13, 2019 2:12PM PDT
Passengers departing Victoria International Airport Saturday morning were forced to go through security twice after a prohibited item passed through the airport's security checkpoint.
The airport tweeted that a "security breach" had forced the evacuation of the departures area and caused "minor delays to a few flights."
Airport spokesman Rod Hunchak told CTV News the security breach was caused by an aerosol can that was identified during the security screening process, but couldn't be located before the passenger it belonged to had retrieved their bag.
"It was a matter of timing," Hunchak said. "They couldn't positively identify the passenger immediately."
After evacuating the departures area, airport staff reviewed security camera footage and were able to determine who the aerosol can belonged to.
Hunchak said the owner of the prohibited item had already boarded a WestJet flight that was waiting to depart. Officials boarded that flight and retrieved the aerosol can, which turned out to be sunscreen, Hunchak said.
A total of four departing flights were grounded during the incident.
The departures area was deemed secure shortly after 10:30 a.m., at which point evacuated passengers were re-screened. Hunchack said this process was expedited by extra staff from the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority.
Early Saturday afternoon, the airport tweeted to thank passengers for their patience during the incident.
Hunchak said the situation was a good reminder to travellers to double-check the list of prohibited items before heading to the airport.
"It's good to check right before you go through security so you don't get your items taken," he said.