The suspicious item detected at Karratha Airport this morning that triggered an evacuation of the building has been identified as a pie warmer.
The item, which was identified inside the carry-on luggage of a passenger travelling to Perth about 8.40am this morning, was deemed suspicious during a security X-ray screening.
It was only declared safe following a further examination under the guidance of the WA Police Bomb Response Unit, at a location away from the airport.
Pilbara District Police Superintendent Paul Coombes said part of the pie warmer had looked suspiciously similar to a detonator.
“There are strict security protocols at all airports, and the security staff had identified what appeared to be a suspicious package,” he said.
“Further examination by technical experts confirmed their suspicions and hence we had to adopt emergency management plans to ensure the safety of everyone in the airport.”
The passenger — a man in his 50s — assisted police with their investigation.
The investigation has now ended and no charges have been laid.
Several hundred passengers and staff were removed from the airport and four planes were grounded during today’s evacuation, which lasted for several hours and led to flight delays.
The airport was re-opened about 11:20am.
Supt Coombes thanked everyone who had been affected by the evacuation for their patience.
“We appreciate how frustrating it would have been to travellers, especially during the Easter break, but we appreciate their patience and support, and also that of the partner agencies who assisted police and were of great assistance,” he said.