Bag Marked 'Bomb to Brisbane' Disrupts Australia Airport
Passengers at Brisbane International Airport (BNE) in Australia were shocked Wednesday morning when a bag labeled with "Bomb to Brisbane" came down the baggage carousel.
The suspicious piece of luggage was discovered by a woman who was waiting to collect her luggage after her flight from Singapore. At first, the woman said she was confused as to what it was as it not only said "Bomb to Brisbane" but also included someone's name and the word "Mumbai" underneath it.
"I didn’t know what to make of it to be honest," the passenger told Yahoo 7 News. "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."
The area was quickly shut down after authorities arrived, but passengers were left wondering how a piece of luggage with the word "bomb" on it successfully made it to its destination. After an investigation, the bag was found to belong to Venkata Lakshmi, 65, an Indian national who was going to Brisbane to visit her daughter's family for a birthday celebration.
Devi Jothiraj, Lakshmi's daughter, has lived in Australia for 10 years. She told Yahoo 7 News that her mother described the situation as "a mix-up."
"My mother told me they thought something was in there, and people were panicking," Jothiraj said. "They asked her to open the bag and asked her why it says bomb, and she said 'It's for Bombay. She began writing Bombay before realising she had no space to fit it all in, so she stopped at Bomb and wrote Bomb to Brisbane with Mumbai underneath."
The airport code for Mumbai International Airport is BOM — the city was officially known as Bombay until 1995 when it was changed to its current name. Lakshmi was interviewed by Australian Federal Police but was released shortly after authorities realized it was a mistake. Lakshmi told her daughter that her bag did not raise any alarm when she checked it at Mumbai Airport.