Martha's Vineyard Airport closed after suspicious luggage found

WEST TISBURY, Mass. - A suspicious piece of luggage that led officials to evacuate Martha's Vineyard Airport contained a dummy bomb intended for security training.

''It was mock explosives that looked very real,'' state police Sgt. Tim White said Tuesday.

The fake bomb was flown from Nantucket on Monday for an airport security training session planned Tuesday by Cape Air, a regional air carrier, police said.

Cape Air spokeswoman Michelle Haynes said the ''bomb kit'' was intended for a routine security training session this week for airline personnel on the Vineyard.

She said the suitcase should have had a large Cape Air tag with an airline employee's name on it. The tag got detached somehow, and the suitcase was taken to baggage claim.

''It looks, feels, smells everything like an incendiary device. But it's a test kit,'' Haynes said Tuesday.

A state police bomb squad was called shortly after the luggage was discovered in the terminal area about 6 p.m., White said. Officers X-rayed it, then waited for more sophisticated equipment from the mainland.

The airport was closed until about 2 a.m.

Caught in the delay was former Sen. Bob Dole, who was trying to get back to Washington after attending a fund-raiser on the Vineyard. Dole finally left the island early Tuesday, said his spokesman Douglas MacKinnon.


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