Operations at Billy Bishop Airport were suspended Saturday afternoon due to a suspicious package, and two people have been detained, Toronto police say.
Officers were called to the airport shortly before 4 p.m. ET to investigate a suspicious package.
Acting duty inspector Joseph Albanese said when officers arrived they located “a potential explosive device.”
Albanese provided no details about what was found, but said the two people detained “are co-operating with the investigation.”
Albanese said the airport authority contacted police after one of their security officers saw the suspicious package during a routine inspection.
“The officer did a great job and notified the police and we’re thankful that he did.”
The police service’s emergency disposal unit was brought to the scene.
No risk to public safety
Albanese said police did their best to evacuate the area and make it safe.
“We don’t feel that there’s a risk to public safety at this particular point,” he said.
“We are still trying to ascertain what exactly we’re dealing with and so that may change over the course of time, but at this point, we feel like we’ve got public safety nailed down.”
Just before 6:30 p.m. ET, airport authorities said in a tweet that “a device was discovered on a bike parked near the … ferry terminal.”
“Toronto Police Services were called and the device has been removed. The ferry terminal and tunnel have been closed out of an abundance of caution.”
Oct 22: Flights currently suspended in/out of <a href=”https://twitter.com/BBishopAirport?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@BBishopAirport</a> due to Toronto Police Services investigation. Passengers waiting in lounges are being evacuated at present. Device found near island-ferry terminal has been removed by TPS. Tunnel/ferry remain closed at this time.
The airport said flights have been impacted and passengers should expect delays due to the ongoing “security situation.”
According to the airport, there is no immediate threat to the safety of passengers or staff, though operations have been impacted.
Oct 22: YTZ Runway is closed for the evening. Porter has completed its flight schedule for the evening. Two Air Canada flights diverted to Hamilton. Passengers remaining in terminal being evacuated at present. Tunnel/ferry remains closed. TPS on-site and leading investigation.
2 Air Canada flights diverted to Hamilton
The airport later said the runway had been closed for the evening.
“Porter has completed its flight schedule for the evening. Two Air Canada flights diverted to Hamilton,” the airport said in a tweet.
POLICE INVESTIGATION: UPDATE<br>Billy Bishop Airport Ferry Terminal<br>- Two persons of interest are in custody<br>- We are dealing with a potential explosive device<br>- 34 Little Norway, 681 Queens Quay have been evacuated<br>- Partial evacuation of 650 Queen Quay<br>^lb
A spokesperson for Toronto’s paramedic services said there were no injuries at the scene.
A training exercise was held at the airport from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to test protocols, procedures, communications and planning for emergency and security-related incidents. But a spokesperson with Toronto police told CBC News the suspension of airport operations is unrelated to the exercises.
Lake Shore Boulevard West is closed from Strachan Avenue to Dan Leckie Way. Bathurst Street is also blocked from Bruyeres Mews to the lake, and Queens Quay is blocked from Dan Leckie Way to Stadium Road.
Albanese apologized to those who have been affected.
“We are doing our very best to manage how quickly we resolve this issue, weighing that against public safety, which of course is the the main concern at this point. So, we won’t rush the investigation just to get people back home,” he said.