Unknown Substance creates Hazmat Response at BWI

Baltimore, Maryland (ANN) – Earlier this evening Fire Officials responded to Baltimore Washington Thurgood Marshall Airport for a possible hazardous substance that was found on-board a departing Southwest Airlines flight. Firefighters from BWI, Anne Arundel, and other jurisdictions responded to assist.

The substance was found on board a Southwest Airlines aircraft during boarding procedures according to an e-mailed statement from Southwest. The flight in question was Southwest 466 which was traveling to Oklahoma City’s Wil Rogers Airport.

The aircraft was swapped out for another aircraft and passengers were allowed to continue onto their destination. They departed approximately 2.5 hours late due to the incident.

The BWI Marshall Airport Fire and Rescue Department responded to a report of an unknown substance on board an aircraft scheduled to depart.

The investigation determined there was no threat.

Statement from Jonathan Dean, BWI Spokesman

The substance was determined not to be hazardous and was determined to be a “dietary supplementary” just after 6:00 p.m and all units were released just after 7:00 p.m.

Southwest Airlines released the following e-mail statement

Prior to departure of Southwest Flight #466 from Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) to Oklahoma City’s Will Rogers World Airport (OKC), a Southwest Crewmember observed two packets on the aircraft floor that appeared to contain powdery substance. Out of an abundance of caution, we switched the flight to a different aircraft.  Additionally, the Southwest Team requested the support of the BWI Fire and Rescue Department and a hazardous materials team which determined the substances to be non-hazardous.

As Safety is always our top priority, we thank the responders at BWI for their prompt support and professionalism, and we appreciate the patience of our customers during the delay and aircraft change.

Southwest Airlines statement concerning the incident at BWI

A video from a passenger was released to the media showing a firefighter with protective gear collecting the sample while passengers remained in the seats. We have been able to confirm that this is standard procedure as the passengers were in the “hot zone.” The passengers would have been kept on the aircraft until they were able to be decontaminated by removing all clothing and being scrubbed in a line up. Thankfully the substance in question was determined not to be hazardous.

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