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Passengers released at Myrtle Beach airport after suspicious package cleared

Suspicious package thought to be bomb was a toy

A package found on a plane at Myrtle Beach International Airport that created a wave of suspicion turned out to be just a toy.
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A package found on a plane at Myrtle Beach International Airport that created a wave of suspicion turned out to be just a toy.

The passengers of American Airlines flight 5119 at Myrtle Beach International Airport have been released after a suspicious package on the plane was cleared by local and federal law enforcement.

FBI Special Agent Don Wood of the Columbia field office said that the package was a toy.

“As I understand it, it was determined to be a child’s toy, an electronic toy, found in the bathroom there as the plane was coming in for landing or on its way into Myrtle Beach,” Wood said.

Ross Feinstein, a spokesman for American Airlines, said at roughly 6 p.m. that the plane and passengers had been released. The package, unclaimed by passengers and crew, was deemed safe after it was x-rayed, he said.

Those aboard the plane, which originated in Charlotte, had been held for questioning after the flight landed at 3:50 p.m. Ryan Betcher, of the airport, said there were 65 passengers and four crew members aboard the plane, who released at 6 p.m.

The toy was a handheld video game found in a bathroom on the plane, according to Lizzie Ramirez who was on the flight with her 5-year-old son Eli Strong. The two were reunited with family in Myrtle Beach after spending more than two hours inside the General Aviation Terminal while police investigated the device and cleared the scene.

But Ramirez says she didn't mind the wait and was glad everyone was OK.

Airport Director Scott Van Moppes initially said the flight contained a package that “appears to be a battery.”

FBI assisted local police in questioning the passengers, Van Moppes said. He added that nobody had claimed the package.

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FBI and Horry County police are investigating American Airlines flight 5119, which landed at 3:50 p.m. today with a suspicious package on board. Janet Blackmon Morgan jblackmon@thesunnews.com

“They’re going to interview everybody. They’ll kind of keep it contained,” he said.

Officials at Myrtle Beach International Airport also requested the assistance of a bomb dog, according to Horry County Police spokeswoman Krystal Dotson.

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