Miami Airport Reopened After Security Closure

Miami-Dade Police and Fire Rescue vehicles are shown at the arrival level at Miami International Airport in Miami, early morning Friday, Sept. 3, 2010. A spokesman for Miami International Airport says four of its six concourses have been evacuated as a police bomb squad investigates a report of a suspicious item. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz) AP Photo

Last Updated 12:32 p.m. ET

A scientist detained at Miami International Airport after screeners found a metal canister in his luggage that looked like a pipe bomb has been released after being detained and questioned.

CBS News correspondent Bob Orr reports that the 70-year-old man is now "free to go and will not be charged," according to a U.S. law enforcement official.

A bomb squad spent hours scouring Miami International Airport Thursday night. Four of the airport's six concourses along with an onsite hotel were evacuated after screeners found the canister.

The container found in the man's checked luggage tested negative for explosives and was deemed to be part of "a legitimate experiment."

Police and airport officials described the shutdown and evacuation of Terminals E, F, G and H as a safety precaution.

The Miami International Airport Hotel, which is located near the airport's international terminal, was also evacuated, airport spokesman Greg Chin told The Associated Press said.

The airport fully reopened just after 4 a.m. Friday before the first scheduled morning departures, which signaled the start of the peak Labor Day weekend.

"Everything's back to normal," Chin said.

Passengers, workers and others were allowed back in just as the airport was expecting the first of 1,500 passengers on flights between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. alone - and more thereafter.

There could be residual delays as operations get back to full speed throughout the day.

The passenger, a 70-year-old scientist, was said to be "extremely cooperative" with investigators, Orr reports, and "willingly assisted" them.

The Transportation Security Administration declined to identify the passenger, saying in a terse statement that the screener spotted something suspicious in a checked back at about 9 p.m. Thursday, the passenger located and detained.

CBS Station WFOR correspondent Sharrie Williams reports the passenger, a U.S. citizen, arrived on an international flight that oringinated in Saudi Arabia and flew through London.

"TSA, federal authorities and local officials have the responsibility to treat suspicious items as the real thing until confirmed otherwise. Authorities quickly worked together to respond to this situation and keep the traveling public safe," a federal law enforcement official told CBS News.

Miami-Dade Police said a bomb squad spent hours at the airport with fire officials and others. Fire trucks and police vehicles stood by and a hazardous material team was spotted at the scene.

Police spokesman Alvaro Zableta had urged those with scheduled departures Friday to check with local air carriers.

Chin said between 100 and 200 passengers were evacuated initially.


Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that the passenger's flight originated in Brazil.
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