NBC News and news services
updated 9/10/2011 10:29:29 PM ET 2011-09-11T02:29:29

Police and airport officials said there was nothing harmful about suspicious boxes on a cargo pallet that prompted an hours-long evacuation of several gates at Dulles International Airport on Saturday.

Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority spokesman Rob Yingling said a security dog alerted on boxes about 4:30 p.m. ET.

The area around the pallet outside the B Concourse was evacuated, along with several gates inside the concourse, which houses mostly international carriers. Airport officials relocated passengers to other areas of the airport to catch their flights, and Yingling said the airport was open and otherwise operating normally.

Yingling said officials were being extra vigilant in light of recent terror threats, and taking all precautions if something out of the ordinary is discovered.

At least two outbound flights were delayed because the aircraft were within the perimeter, but the closed area was reopened about four hours after the investigation began.

NBC station WRC of Washington contributed to this report from The Associated Press.

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