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W.Va. air terminal evacuated

Suspicious liquids found in carry-on deemed no threat

CEREDO, W. Va. -- A West Virginia airport terminal was evacuated yesterday after two bottles of liquid found in a woman's carry-on luggage twice tested positive for explosives residue, a Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman said.

Chemical tests later turned up no explosives in the bottles, said Captain Jack Chambers, head of the State Police Special Operations unit. The airport was reopened after nearly 10 hours.

A machine that security checkpoint screeners use to test for explosives registered positive results for two containers, and a canine team also got a positive indication, said TSA spokeswoman Amy von Walter.

The TSA screening looks for a range of explosives residue, some of which can be found on common household items, said TSA spokesman Darrin Kayser.

Airport manager Larry Salyers said he was told the woman was a 28-year-old of Pakistani descent who had moved to Huntington, W. Va., from Jackson, Mich. No charges were filed against the woman, who was taken from the airport by federal authorities at 5 p.m., Salyers said.

The woman was very cooperative, officials said.

The woman's mother told reporters that her daughter, who is four months' pregnant and lives in Barboursville was targeted because of her nationality and Islamic headcover. ``It was not only a false alarm, it was racial discrimination because there was nothing," Mian Qayyum said, refusing to name her daughter.

``She just had water to drink because she is pregnant, and she had a face wash that had a drop of bleach on it," Qayyum said from her home in Jackson.

The FBI did not immediately return messages last night seeking comment on the allegations.

Commercial airline service was suspended, and about 100 passengers and airport employees were ordered to leave the terminal, said Jim Booton, Tri-State Airport Authority president. Comair and US Airways Express serve the airport.

A screener had noticed a bottle in the woman's carry-on bag as she was going through security before her 9:15 a.m. flight to Charlotte, N.C., Booton said.

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