NBC, msnbc.com and news services
updated 4/19/2006 5:55:34 PM ET 2006-04-19T21:55:34

Officials shut down all security checkpoints for about two hours at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport after a “suspicious device” was detected in a screening machine.

The airport remained open while an airport explosive detection unit was called in, airport spokeswoman Felicia Browder said, but passengers not yet screened were unable to reach the gates for their flights.

Transportation Security Administration workers detected the suspicious item inside a bag just before 2 p.m., Browder said. She declined to comment further.

TSA spokeswoman Amy von Walter said a possible improvised explosive device had been detected at the airport’s main checkpoint.

The device was taken away by a police bomb squad, NBC News reported. There was no word on its contents.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport holds the title of the nation’s busiest airport in number of takeoffs and landings, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Departures from the airport were delayed for over an hour due to the device, according to NBC. There was no impact on arrivals, which were already delayed up to 90 minutes because of thunderstorms.

NBC News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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