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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Town of Osoyoos voices support for proposed casino

Osoyoos council voted to submit a letter of support for a proposed casino on OIB land

Chants of ‘Parky, Parky, Parky’ herald ECM victory

The Penticton ECM Promotions atoms clinch silver medal at Coquitlam tourney

Osoyoos Indian Band seeks support for casino

The 6000 to 7500 square foot casino would be located on Osoyoos Indian Band land.

South Okanagan Men and Women Who Care schedule first meetings of 2020

The 100 Men Who Care Penticton and 100 Women Who Care South Okanagan meetings scheduled

Oliver woman reflects on prestigious win at Westminster dog show

“Polly” the Scottish deerhound was crowned best in breed and reserve best hound.

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

Trees Cannabis director fined $1.5M for selling marijuana

Fine follows provincial crackdown on popular dispensary

World Cup skier from Okanagan dies suddenly at 19

Kuroda, who made his World Cup debut earlier this year, passed away suddenly Monday night.

Coastal GasLink pipeline investor committed to closing deal despite protests

Developer TC Energy Corp. — formerly TransCanada Corp. — is to remain the operator of the $6.6-billion pipeline

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Budget 2020: B.C. Liberals blast ‘Netflix tax,’ lack of economic plan

ICBC rates still go up, except in election year, Shirley Bond says

Teen snowmobiler from Kelowna found after air force’s overnight search

The teen had been missing since just after 6 p.m. on Monday

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

Most Read