| 11.8°C Dublin

US airport closed after security scare caused by bottles of honey

A California airport was closed for several hours after a passenger carrying honey in plastic bottles triggered a security alert.

Police were struggling on Wednesday to explain why two baggage screeners at Meadows Field Airport in Bakersfield had to be taken to hospital on Tuesday after opening the bottles and becoming nauseated from the fumes.

A police spokesman said the bottles, which were being carried by a gardener, had tested positive for explosives even though the contents was later confirmed to be just honey. The two screeners may have felt nauseous because they were "just nervous", he added.

Amid heightened airport security tension following the alleged attempt to bring down a Detroit-bound plane, Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport in Minnesota was also closed temporarily on Tuesday after a sniffer dog indicated a suspicious piece of luggage.

The bag turned out to be a marker that airport staff put on the luggage carousel to tell other staff that all items have been unloaded from a flight.

There was further embarrassment at Newark International Airport in New Jersey where it emerged that a security camera supposedly monitoring a corridor where a major security breach occurred on Sunday had been broken for six days.

The busy airport was evacuated for nearly seven hours after a passenger reported a man walk the wrong way through an exit corridor without being challenged.

The comedienne Joan Rivers has complained angrily about officious security after she was kept off a flight from Costa Rica to Newark on Sunday because a gate agent was suspicious about her passport containing both her married and professional names.

© Telegraph.co.uk