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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Interview with Brenda Geoghagan

Aired January 13, 2003 - 13:11   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: This is Tampa International Airport -- all right -- a suspicious suitcase -- we have Brenda Geoghagan on the phone from the airport. Brenda, can you hear me OK?
BRENDA GEOGHAGAN, TAMPA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT: Yes, I can hear you.

PHILLIPS: OK. This is all coming to me in a matter of seconds, so why don't you tell me what the situation is here at Tampa International Airport?

GEOGHAGAN: We currently have our ticket level of our main land side terminal building evacuated. There was a piece of checked luggage that alerted, through our explosive detection system and we have the bomb squad on site, and they are investigating this piece of luggage at this time.

PHILLIPS: Brenda, we've been talking about all the changes that have been taking place at the airports around the country, the increased security, the new tactics going on with TSA. I know there were some -- a couple things that does, I guess, cause this machinery to say it's explosive but it really isn't. Can you sort of review that with us? I remember there were some bizarre things that if we had in our suitcases it might trigger the machine, but it really isn't an explosive. Can you sort of remind us of that?

GEOGHAGAN: The TSA, during the holidays, put out some special passenger advisories mentioning certain foods not to pack and, of course, they were telling people about bottles of water and things like that. I believe, though, most of the traveling public has gotten that information because of the holiday season, but again most of the TSA security employees have been through the training here, and we've been checking all 100 percent of the luggage at this time, and I think that they wouldn't have called the bomb squad if it wasn't something that they felt comfortable doing.

PHILLIPS: That's what we want to do is put it into perspective of how serious this is or this could be. So -- did the suitcase belong to someone that was just checking in through the regular check- in process?

GEOGHAGAN: That's correct. That's correct. They were checking in to depart Tampa International, and I'm waiting to get an update. Of course, they -- there's a name on the suitcase, and I don't have any of those details yet.

PHILLIPS: Where was that person heading to? GEOGHAGAN: I don't even have that information. This has all happened within the last 10 to 15 minutes.

PHILLIPS: All right. So what's taking place right now? Are you evacuating the airport?

GEOGHAGAN: Just our ticket level was evacuated and the drive.

PHILLIPS: OK.

GEOGHAGAN: In fact, I may be getting news that it's maybe re- opened at this point.

PHILLIPS: OK. Are you getting that news right now? Is somebody talking with you?

GEOGHAGAN: I think they're getting ready to re-open it. So the situation could be resolved as we speak.

PHILLIPS: All right. Well, you know what, why don't you check that out, and then will you let us know? Stay on the line with us and let us know if everything has been resolved.

GEOGHAGAN: All right. Thanks. I will.

PHILLIPS: Brenda, terrific. Brenda Geoghagan from the Tampa International Airport. Thank you so much. If you're just tuning in, we've been told a suspicious suitcase -- security came across a suspicious suitcase at Tampa International Airport believed, possibly, to be explosives. You're looking at live pictures now via our affiliate there in Tampa, WTVT. Just got off the phone with Brenda Geoghagan from Tampa International Airport. This could possibly already be resolved. The bomb squad is there on the scene checking to see, indeed, if this suitcase contained explosives.

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