WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (WJZ) — A Southwest plane bound for BWI was evacuated before takeoff in West Palm Beach because of a suspicious substance on board.
Andrea Fujii has more on the scare.
Authorities have determined that the powder posed no danger to the passengers and crew but there were some very tense moments for those involved before that was known.
Southwest Airlines flight 793 was evacuated after a flight attendant found a powdered substance inside a tissue box in the restroom. That flight was bound for BWI Marshall Airport.
“We had a number of passengers who were wheelchair bound. We brought them out of the aircraft to the jetway. The rest of them were brought down to the tarmac, where they were sequestered,” said Palm Beach County Airport Captain Joe Nelson.
It happened just after 4 p.m. Wednesday. Hazmat crews rushed to the scene while 137 passengers and crew were forced to remain on the tarmac. Authorities were unsure of possible exposure and weren’t taking any chances.
Hazmat crews in full protective gear inspected the plane. Later, the powder was deemed harmless and the plane was not contaminated. No one was hurt.
“We brought a hazmat team here from West Pam Beach and they went in and investigated it and collected samples,” Nelson said.
The flight landed at BWI around 12:35 a.m.