An American family sparked chaos at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport on Thursday when they tried to pass through security with an unexploded artillery shell they picked up as a souvenir in the Golan Heights.
Video posted by the Kan public broadcaster shows the pandemonium that erupted at the international airport, where people fled from the check-in area and took cover amid the scare.
The incident began when the American family showed up for their flight at the airport outside Tel Aviv carrying the unexploded bomb, the Washington Post reported.
A family member removed the shell from a backpack and asked a security agent whther it could be placed inside a suitcase, the BBC reported, citing the YNet news.
The official ordered the surrounding area to be evacuated, but another passenger misunderstood and began shouting, “Terrorists shooting.” That sent panic throughout the terminal.
A 32-year-old man identified as Uri injured himself during the panic and was taken to a hospital.
“I was at the airport waiting for an hour in line until I got to the check-in counter, and suddenly at a radius of five meters people started running away and left luggage,” he told YNet, the BBC reported.
“The fear was that someone is spraying bullets. I understood that I too have to escape, so I ran towards the check-in, I stumbled on a conveyor belt… and flew a distance of six meters,” he said.
The tourists told officials that one of their kids found the shell during a sightseeing tour of the Golan Heights, which Israel captured from the Syrians during the Six-Day War in 1967.
Local news outlet reported that the family was unaware of the danger involved in lugging the unexploded ordnance.
After being grilled about their explosive souvenir, the family was allowed to board their flight. It was not immediately clear where the family was head.
In January, the Israeli army detonated hundreds of munitions from a 45-year-old Syrian bunker recently discovered in the Golan, the Washington Post reported.
In 2019, then-President Donald Trump made the controversial decision to recognize Israeli sovereignty in the Golan, which the country annexed in 1981.
With Post wires