Suspected Pepper Spray Evacuates Portions of BWI

Concourses A and B at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport were evacuated after a strange odor and irritant were reported in the air, airport officials said.

A portion of BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport was evacuated Monday morning after an unusual odor and irritant—suspected to be pepper spray—was discovered in the air at the Concourse B security checkpoint, airport officials said.

At about 8:45 a.m. Monday, Concourses A and B were evacuated of passengers and employees as a precaution after the odor was detected in the air, according to BWI spokesman Jonathan Dean. Seven Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees were transported to local hospitals due to the irritant in the air, Dean said.

After an investigation, officials discovered an item in a garbage can near the security checkpoint at Concourse B.

"We will continue the investigation, but at this point it is believed to be pepper spray," Dean said.

Passengers and employees were allowed back into Concourse A at about 9:20 a.m. and Concourse B reopened at about 9:45 a.m., according to Dean.

"All airline ticketing and check-in procedures have resumed," Dean said.


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