TODAY   |  October 02, 2013

Florida airport shut down due to suspicious packages

The Jacksonville International Airport was shut down for nearly five hours Tuesday after police found two suspicious packages on the tarmac, leaving planes and passengers stranded. NBC’s Kerry Sanders reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> let's start with the suspicious packages that lead to tense moments at the jacksonville international airport . kerry sanders is there for us this morning. what happened.

>> well it is now confirmed by the jacksonville sheriff's office that one man is in custody. he has been arrested. the charges against him at this hour. planes that were in the air were first told to go into a holding pattern and those flights were diverted to nearby airports. the flights that were on the ground here, passengers, as the planes moved away from the terminals passengers had to deplane and come down and depart and make their way back. they spent the night at hotels. according to the local authorities a man that was here and made some sort of verbal threat . a man who is known to the fbi . the fbi and the joint terrorism task force are now investigating the details of what happened here last night.

>> reporter: i pulled up and they said there's a bomb threat .

>> everybody started running to get up.

>> reporter: tense moments at jacksonville international airport . shutdown by police because of two suspicious packages.

>> a lot of people started ducking behind where the packages go.

>> reporter: the airport was evacuated when a bomb squad found one package in the terminal and another in a nearby parking garage. the airport tweeting details about the incident in real time. jso bomb squad on site conducting their investigation. currently no in bound or outbound flights.

>> it was a device that had some destructive nature to the degree that it needed to be taken off site to be rendered safe which is what we did.

>> reporter: despite eyewitness reports no arrests were made and there were no suspects in custody.

>> we saw the guy arrest the guy earlier and throw him down on the ground and that started a long wait.

>> reporter: a long wait for families relieved to be reunited with their loved ones.

>> the most important thing to us is that we're all safe.

>> the fbi is now leading the investigation here. it is unclear if those packages were strategically placed to cause damage or injury. meantime, this morning, because of the diverted flights, flight operations here are some what disrupted. there are at least five cancelled flights this morning but they're attempting to reschedule the passengers to get out later today.

>>> all right. kerry sanders in