White powder found in plane’s cargo hold deemed non-hazardous

HAWTHORNE – White powder found in the cargo area of a Jet Blue plane at Westchester County Airport Tuesday morning brought out a police response. The Westchester County Police Hazardous Devices Unit (HDU) determined the substance was non-hazardous.

About 10 a.m., airport personnel were loading baggage into the plane’s cargo hold for an outbound flight when they saw five small plastic packages containing a small quantity of white powder.  It is believed that the packages fell out of luggage that was in the cargo hold previously.

County Police officers assigned to the airport were notified and requested HDU to respond to assess the substance. It was determined that the powder was not hazardous and was not a narcotic substance of any kind.  In addition, HDU tested the air in the cargo hold and passenger cabin and detected no hazards.

The packages contained no identifying markings of any kind but appear similar to a powdered aspirin product that is available for retail sale.

The flight, which was bound for Orlando, was cleared for takeoff at 11:16 a.m.

Personnel assigned to HDU, known more informally as the bomb squad, are trained to respond to incidents involving chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive materials. They are also trained as Haz-Mat technicians.



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