Wed 01 June 2022 (Tues 31 May 2022 in American Samoa) Pago Pago, American Samoa. The American Samoa airport and seaport areas were both evacuated this morning when a bomb threat was received for both the seaport and airport.
Officials told Samoa Global News that an anonymous caller said there was a bomb at the American Samoa airport and seaport. For two long hours this morning, the American Samoa Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) team supported port officials to initiate and follow bomb threat protocols and evacuation procedures for the Territory’s wharf, as well as its airport.
Officials confirmed to SGN that the call was received at 10:30am, igniting a set of protocols that included the immediate evacuation of the Pago Pago International airport and seaport, as well as nearby areas.
According to sources, the caller, a male, has been tracked through his mobile phone by American Samoa Police, and is currently being held in police custody.
He is denying the allegations against him, and had initially told Police that someone had used his phone this morning.
During the evacuation of Pago airport, a black bag was found unattended, still sitting at the airport from a flight that arrived into American Samoa from Hawaii the night before.
The bag was cleared by ARFF officers, however, as a separate issue, the unattended bag has raised unanswered questions around the protocols that should have been followed.
Passengers in managed isolation at a quarantine site near the airport were also evacuated by the Department of Health (DOH), including two passengers who had earlier tested positive for Covid-19. Police blocks were put up near the wharf and the public were told to stay back an evacuate.
A Samoan Airways flight had already left for Manua when the bomb threat was called in. The flight was delayed and did not return until all was cleared. A later flight scheduled for Manua was delayed but still went ahead today.
The bomb threat was cleared by Traffic Engineering Operations and Safety Procedures and the ARFF at approximately 12:30pm, two hours after the call was received by officials at the seaport gates.