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How one letter caused an Aust airport scare

With an airport code of BOM, it was bound to happen

The language police don’t take kindly to the misuse of abbreviations; and when they’re used in this way, nor does airport security.


Image Yahoo7 / Supplied


It was Brisbane Airport, and the baggage carousel was doing its normal rounds for a recently arrived flight from Singapore when suddenly emerged a piece of luggage with the word ‘bomb’ emblazed on it. Making matters worse, the whole message read ‘Bomb to Brisbane’.


Whist it’s doubtful a bomber would advertise his/her intentions in that way (except perhaps in Hollywood), needless to say, the message did leave passengers who saw the bag stunned.


"It was with a whole bunch of bags and I just saw the word 'bomb',” an anonymous female, whose bag was next to the suspicious item, told Yahoo7 News.


"I didn’t know what to make of it to be honest, I thought it may have been a joke."


"But when I saw the police officers come over then I realised it was a bit more serious."


Indeed, Australian Federal Police officers rushed to the scene after another traveller alerted them.


"The area was cordoned and we were quickly ushered on away from it," she said.


"How it made it all the way is beyond me, you’ve got to be pretty thick to do that."


Likely what had happened was that the owner of the bag had travelled from Mumbai International Airport, and had written ‘Bomb’ instead of the hub’s actual code ‘BOM’ (or Mumbai’s original moniker, Bombay) on the bag. ‘Mumbai’ was also written underneath the main message.


The AFP confirmed after a routine examination that the item was not deemed suspicious.


Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 6 April 2018

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