15:53 AEST Mon Oct 4 2004
An adult sex toy shut down a major regional airport for almost an hour on Monday when it was mistaken for a bomb, police said.
The vibrating object was discovered at Mackay Airport by a security officer who noticed the suspicious package inside a rubbish bin at the terminal cafeteria at 9.15am (AEST), a police spokeswoman said.
Cafeteria manager Lynne Bryant said her staff had been cleaning tables when they noticed a strange humming noise coming from the rubbish bin.
"It was rather disconcerting when the rubbish bin started humming furiously," she said.
"We called security and next minute everybody was being evacuated while they checked it out."
The police spokeswoman said the terminal was evacuated immediately. Passengers who had arrived on a recent flight, check-in staff, cafeteria employees and hire car personnel were all forced to leave.
"Another two flights were expected to land at that stage but alternate arrangements were made for the passengers to collect their luggage away from the terminal," the spokeswoman said.
She said the emergency situation was revoked just before 10am when the package was identified as an adult novelty device.
Ms Bryant said at the time of the upheaval the airport had been quite busy with two main flights due in and out of the airport - wreaking havoc with people's schedules.
She said in retrospect the humming sounded exactly like a vibrator - but it was better to be safe then sorry.
"You can't afford to take chances," Ms Bryant said.