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Last Updated: Monday, 4 October, 2004, 08:23 GMT 09:23 UK
Sex toy causes air security scare
Authorities in a regional Australian airport shut down services for an hour on Monday after a vibrating sex toy was mistaken for a bomb.

The terminal at Mackay Airport in Queensland was evacuated, causing upheaval to flight schedules.

The suspect package was later identified as a vibrator-type "adult novelty device". The incident was the latest in a string of false alerts regarding air security in Australia.

It was rather disconcerting when the rubbish bin started humming furiously
Airport staff Lynne Bryant

The alarm was raised by cafeteria manager Lynne Bryant, whose staff was cleaning the area near a bin where the package was found.

"It was rather disconcerting when the rubbish bin started humming furiously," she said, Australian media reported.

"We called security and next minute everybody was being evacuated while they checked it out."

Police were about to call in bomb experts when an unidentified passenger came forwards to identify the contents of the package.

Two weeks ago an incendiary device caused a scare at Sydney airport which turned out to be a teenager's home-made firework.

And in July, a flight bound for Los Angeles was forced to return to Sydney when flight staff discovered the letters "BOB" - interpreted as possibly meaning "bomb on board" - scrawled on a sick bag in an aircraft toilet

It later transpired that "BOB" can also denote "Best on board" - a term used by air crew to identify good-looking passengers.

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