A heavy police presence responded to a suspicious item found on a WestJet plane on Monday, Aug. 19, 2019. (David Venn - Kelowna Capital News)

Suspicious item forces 47 to evacuate plane at Kelowna airport

Kelowna RCMP continue investigation of suspicious item on airplane

Airport director Sam Samaddar confirmed 47 people and four crew were aboard WestJet flight 3162 to Calgary scheduled to leave the Kelowna International Airport at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 19.

Upon discovery of a suspicious item, the airplane was evacuated and passengers returned to the departure terminal.

At 2:06 p.m., YLW was informed of a possible suspicious item on board the flight scheduled to depart from the airport. Kelowna Fire Department, RCMP and Rescue were called in to respond to the incident, but shortly after a command was established, backup was being told to stand down.

The threat was deemed non-credible, YLW communications advisor Jessica Hewitt said in an official report at 3 p.m.

READ MORE: Bomb threat at Kelowna International Airport deemed ‘not credible’

Samaddar said the emergency protocol and procedures were followed closely. The two-part procedure first isolates the aircraft, ensuring all people around the plane are safe, then emergency dedicated agencies are called to respond.

Although Samaddar couldn’t offer details of the suspicious item, he said the Kelowna RCMP continue their investigation.

“Although police do not believe the item poses a threat, RCMP plan to conduct a precautionary search of the aircraft to ensure public safety,” Kelowna RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey said.

READ MORE: Kelowna man nearly drowns on Okanagan Lake

Samaddar said the airport is prepared to act swiftly in case of any emergency or threat including bomb threats. Staff and officials practice drills at least once a year.

An emergency operation centre is located within the airport and it is activated in emergency states, Samaddar said.

“In that centre, we have responding agencies there; RCMP, airport officials, if an airline is involved, an airline representative is there,” he said. The room is also open to B.C. ambulance and the Kelowna Fire Department, if necessary.

In October, the airport will undergo a major disaster exercise, he said.

READ MORE: RCMP searching for missing Kelowna hitchhiker

READ MORE: RDCO removes Killiney Beach water quality advisory


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Man cycles across B.C. Interior for sobriety

Vancouver Island Resident Matt Fee is approaching the final phase of his cross-Canada bike journey to raise awareness about addiction recovery.

Lakeshore Racquets Club hosts the 23rd Credit Union Cup

Tournament in Summerland draws teams from around the Okanagan Valley

Summerland to hold cross-country races Sept. 29

Trail races will be held at Summerland Rodeo Grounds

LETTER: Summerland one-day recycling service appreciated

Service on Saturday helped those unable to get to landfill

Summerland Senior Men’s Club plays all net scores event

Golf leagues continue to play in Summerland

VIDEO: Liberals make child care pledge, Greens unveil platform on Day 6 of campaign

Green party leader Elizabeth May unveils her party’s platform in Toronto

B.C. forest industry looks to a high-technology future

Restructuring similar to Europe 15 years ago, executive says

RCMP conclude investigation into 2017 Elephant Hill wildfire

Files have been turned over to BC Prosecution Service

B.C. wants to be part of global resolution in opioid company bankruptcy claim

Government says settlement must include Canadian claims for devastation created by overdose crisis

Popular Bird Migration Day open house happening this weekend

Event focuses on bird adaptation to migration, bird conservation issues and threats and bird banding

B.C. ends ‘birth alerts’ in child welfare cases

‘Social service workers will no longer share information about expectant parents without consent’

U.S. student, killed in Bamfield bus crash, remembered as ‘kind, intelligent, talented’

John Geerdes, 18, was one of two UVic students killed in the crash on Friday night

Facebook group forms committee against Thompson Nicola R.V. crackdown

Group discusses issues with regional R.V. bylaw at recent meeting

Free Tesla 3 offered with purchase of Surrey townhome

Century Group’s offer for Viridian development runs through Oct. 31

Most Read