UPDATE: Operations at the airport have returned to normal
O. R. Tambo International Airport was evacuated on Monday morning over a suspected safety threat.
Travelers took to Twitter reporting a blast or bomb scare at the airport.
The Airports Company of South Africa (Acsa) says the evacuation was due to an unattended bag that was found by officials mid-morning.
Acsa Spokesperson Leigh Gunkel-Kleur says the Acsa canine unit and Saps arrived on the scene to investigate.
Police called for the area to be evacuated as a safety precaution.
Passengers earlier stood outside the terminal buildings, waiting for further instruction from the authorities.
It's important we clarify a few misconceptions that are doing the rounds on social media.— Leigh Gunkel-Kleur, Acsa Spokesperson
Earlier this morning, between 10h00 and 11h15, an unattended bag was found in the terminal building in the airport.— Leigh Gunkel-Kleur, Acsa Spokesperson
Saps are duty bound to evacuate the immediate area around the unattended bag.— Leigh Gunkel-Kleur, Acsa Spokesperson
People are currently standing on the outside of the airport terminal building.— Leigh Gunkel-Kleur, Acsa Spokesperson
Take a listen to the update from Acsa:
Meanwhile, a caller phoned in to share his first-hand experience of the chaos after landing at OR Tambo this morning.
I grabbed my son.. There was chaos and some people were crying. It was very overwhelming after coming off the flight.— Anees, eyewitness caller
Everybody was very concerned.— Anees, eyewitness caller
Take a listen to the eyewitness account in detail:
I don't know happening at OR Tambo airport pic.twitter.com/apUIMNX1tz— Ntiyiso Mabunda (@NtiyisoMabunda5) February 19, 2018
OR Tambo situation🤔 pic.twitter.com/IBDtAqsR2O— Quee (@Quee73288876) February 19, 2018
#ORTambo #International #Airport emergency evacuation. All of us now standing outside of airport terminal buildings. More people are laughing now. Most just continue with general discussions. Still no clarity on official reason for evacuation. #ORTevacuation pic.twitter.com/ZvcdEAydiI— Johann van Schalkwyk (@JustJoZA) February 19, 2018