updated 9/11/2006 3:10:30 PM ET 2006-09-11T19:10:30

Long Beach Airport was briefly closed while authorities detonated a suspicious package found in a rental car Monday, an airport spokeswoman said. No explosives were found.

The investigation prompted airport officials to close off the terminal, although people who had already passed through security were allowed to stay inside, airport spokeswoman Sharon Diggs-Jackson said. Airport employees were not evacuated.

The airport reopened about two hours after the package was found in a car at the rental lot across from the terminal.

The suspicious item was described as a carrying case, said Sgt. Paul Patterson of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

During the investigation, people outside the terminal and waiting to check in at ticket counters were taken to the entrance of the airport. All arriving cars were held at the airport entrance, Diggs-Jackson said.

Flight arrivals were not affected, but a few departing airplanes were held, she said. About eight departures were delayed.

As the airport reopened, a line stretched nearly a block outside the terminal as people waited with their bags for screening. A steady stream of cars that had been blocked from the airport moments before dropped off passengers.

Anthony Gasparino, 31, was at the airport for his return flight to New York City. Although he had to wait 90 minutes to turn in his rental car, he was not upset — given the day.

"Not on Sept. 11," Gasparino said. "I was about to leave and go to the beach for another day."

Philip Lombardo, who was forced to stay inside the terminal for 40 minutes after arriving from New York City, said it appeared officials may have overreacted a bit.

But he added, if something had happened, "Everyone would say, 'Why didn't you do something?'"

Meanwhile, authorities early Monday searched a large portion of the Port of Los Angeles after receiving an anonymous bomb threat. Authorities later determined it was a hoax.

The Port of Los Angeles, along with the adjacent Port of Long Beach, is the nation's largest port complex and is considered a likely terrorist target.

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