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Police: Woman charged after Phoenix airport partly evacuated

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Posted at 1:52 PM, Jan 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-25 14:52:26-05

PHOENIX (AP) - A woman angry about not being allowed to board a plane at Sky Harbor International Airport was arrested after allegedly mentioning an explosive device, resulting in hundreds of travelers having to evacuate part of one concourse, police said Saturday.

A police bomb squad responded Friday but found no device and the airport soon returned to normal though three flights were delayed.

Police said 53-year-old Hope L. Webber was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor false emergency reporting and felony making a false terrorism report.

Webber's statements to airline personnel during the incident "related to an explosive device," Sgt. Mercedes Fortune, a police spokeswoman, told The Associated Press.

Webber's hometown wasn't available, Fortune said Saturday.

American Airlines said in an email that employees had called police to deal with a disruptive female passenger trying to board a flight to Salt Lake City shortly before it was supposed to take off.

Parts of Terminal 4 were briefly evacuated.

Jon Connor, a filmmaker, said he was walking to his plane when "all of the sudden hordes of people" started walking in his direction.

Passengers posted pictures of crowded hallways on social media.