A Strange Coincidence Involving An Earthquake and an Unattended Bag

25 Aug

Ben-Gurion Airport Arrivals Hall

Escaped Balloons at Ben-Gurion Airport Arrivals Hall

I travel frequently and usually my journeys are uneventful. Not so, at least for the beginning of my journey back home last Tuesday from my sojourn in the States.

My flight was due to depart BWI airport at 2:36 p.m. I had arrived ridiculously early at the airport so sat down to have a bite to eat at a restaurant near my gate in concourse D. As I was getting ready to pay my bill I overheard someone say there had been a bomb threat. All the merchants in concourse D had been instructed to close shop and our waitresses rushed to get everyone to settle their bill. I expected to hear an announcement regarding the threat. At least an order to evacuate the building. Not a peep from the PA system so I made my way to my gate near the end of concourse D.

There were not many people at my gate and it was business as normal as far as I could tell. The airline employee at the gate gave no indication of any threat or imminent evacuation. I began to think someone had been mistaken about the bomb threat and sat down to read my book.

A little while later I noticed the bank of chairs on which I was sitting began to vibrate. I heard a roaring noise as if a large truck were passing nearby. Then the entire building began to shake violently. The walls were swaying as if they were made of cardboard and would collapse at any minute. The shaking was over in a matter of seconds. But then the bewilderment and began.

People began looking around with quizzical looks and we were asking each other, “What the heck just happened?” One man nearby declared it was an earthquake. I was inclined to agree with him but thoughts of the recent bomb threat were niggling at the back of my mind. Then, a crowd of people began streaming into our end of the concourse. The panic level had definitely risen. One woman declared, “We have to get out of this building. Something just hit the airport. We have to get outside!” Some people began banging at the doors trying to get outside. Meanwhile, ever since the first rumblings, the airline employee was trying to get some sort of report over the phone. No reports were forthcoming but she decided to open the doors anyhow and many people ran outside.

Eventually, there was an announcement over the PA system to evacuate the building. I stepped outside and tried unsuccessfully to reach my sisters on my cell phone. I was near a fellow who was online and delivering reports from his facebook page: “It was an earthquake!” “5.8 quake centered in Virginia” Many people were incredulous of his reports. It seemed they preferred to believe it was a bomb rather than an earthquake. But the facebook reporter persisted. “it was 5. 2…no, 5.9! They felt it in DC!”

About ten minutes later we were allowed to reenter the building and the gate personnel confirmed the earthquake report. It wasn’t until I arrived home that I found out there had indeed been a bomb scare over an unattended bag near the security gate in concourse D. The folks who had come kicking and screaming to our gate had already gone through security and were in an agitated state even before the earthquake struck. Those who hadn’t gone through security had been ordered to evacuate the building while a bomb squad had been sent in to inspect the unattended bag.

All of this only amounted to a half hour delay in my flight departure. The rest of my journey was, well, uneventful. Two more flight changes and nearly 24 hours later I was back in Ben-Gurion airport ready for the ride home with hubby. When I walked in the door I had to laugh when little Lulu’s jelly belly swayed from side to side as she ran to greet me.


2 Responses to “A Strange Coincidence Involving An Earthquake and an Unattended Bag”

  1. Don September 17, 2011 at 2:29 am #

    I also prefer bombs— Peal Harbour or Twin towers each accounted for about 3000 whereas a good quake’ll take’ll lot more ‘n that at a pop! Ten thousand or an hundred
    thousand are not uncommon- then comes the tsunami! Ya hafta go nuke to get such large round figgers as that. Mother Nature: the orignal child-abuser!

    • Lenora Genovese September 17, 2011 at 8:14 am #

      Despite what conspiracy theorists say, I do not believe there was a bomb involved in taking out the twin towers.

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