Operations at the George F.L. Charles were shut down this morning after reports of a bomb at the facility. Airport officials acted immediately to evacuate the airport and to cordon off the entire vicinity. That meant absolutely no traffic was allowed in or out of the area. Residents of the area could not leave, while students of St. Mary’s College and persons working at nearby businesses and embassies had to wait for the all clear before being able to attend school or report for work.
Principal of the St. Mary’s College Don Howell says Wednesday morning’s bomb scare at the Sir George FL Charles Airport can paint a negative image of St. Lucia ahead of its 40th Independence Anniversary. Flights, nearby businesses and classes at the College were all disrupted as a result.
The report was received about 6 o’clock on Wednesday morning. By nine o clock the all clear was given but the repercussions lasted much longer. Not knowing how long it would last classes at the St. Mary’s College were cancelled for the day. Principal of the School Don Howell applauded the efforts of the fire service and the police in ensuring a safe evacuation. The School was able to activate its emergency plan to ensure that the students were safe. With St. Lucia’s 40 th Independence anniversary just one day away Mr Howell says this incident does not leave a good impression on the minds of visitors some of whom may have had their flights cancelled as a result.
The bomb scare prompted the evacuation of the entire airport. Persons working at the facility gathered on the beach nearby, while individuals arriving to catch early morning flights waited in their cars. Police cordoned off the area while conducting checks. Nearby businesses were seriously affected
In June 2018, a similar situation led to the shut down of the airport after two French Nationals claimed to be in possession of explosive devices.
A search of the airport did not turn up any devices. The two were subsequently detained by police.
Philippe Gaston Grandejean was arrested and charged for the offence of “Bombs, hoaxes, sending messages or articles to alarm or injure other persons” contrary to Section 362 of the Criminal Code of St. Lucia.