A bomb scare triggered chaos at Ben-Gurion International Airport last night resulting in a panicked emergency evacuation.
Airport authorities ordered a full evacuation after an American family brought an unexploded shell in their luggage and showed it to security personnel ahead of their return flight, Israeli media reports.
The Israel Airports Authority said that one man was hospitalised after sustaining injuries trying to flee over a baggage carousel.
The family had picked up the shell on a visit to the Golan Heights, the authorities said, which is the site of previous wars between Israel and Syria.
One of the children found the used shell and wanted to take it home as a souvenir of their trip, Jewish Press reports.
An American family sparked panic in Ben Gurion airport after trying to take an unexploded shell they’d found through Israeli Aiport security pic.twitter.com/j81OwtP3Rb— The Jewish Chronicle (@JewishChron) April 29, 2022
However, when the family went to check-in their luggage with security staff, they revealed that they were carrying the shell which triggered the urgent evacuation.
Footage on social media showed panicked passengers fleeing the terminal after the ordinance was found, with people ducking for cover and running away.
The shell presented to security staff at Ben-Gurion Airport that triggered a panicked evacuation
The bomb squad investigated the ordinance and when it was confirmed that it was not an active security threat, the evacuation was cancelled and airport operations resumed.
The family was allowed to board their flight after security staff completed an interrogation and they were declared all-clear, according to Reuters news agency. There is no word on whether they were allowed to keep their souvenir.
Israel is known for its extremely high level of aviation security due to heightened and ongoing threats, deploying a range of procedures including pressure testing luggage to explode any bombs inside.