Lafayette Regional Airport was evacuated for a short time this morning as fumes from a can of animal mace discovered in checked baggage caused burning eyes and respiratory distress.
An estimated 75-125 people were involved in the evacuation, which occured at approximately 5:30 a.m.
“I was called at approximately 5:20 this morning,” said Director of Aviation Greg Roberts. “Apparently, the can of animal mace went off during the check. We evacuated the airport. The airport fire department was involved. If it had not been discovered on the ground, it could have led to catastrophic circumstances in the air.”
Roberts said the airport’s first departure of the day was scheduled for 5:35 a.m., with five flights scheduled to leave before 7:30. The evacuation and inclement weather in Lafayette this morning caused delays.
It was the second day in a row for emergency measures at the airport. On Monday, a Florida-to-Texas flight made an unexpected stop in Lafayette after passengers started to smell smoke on board. Roberts suspected an "electrical anomaly" caused the emergency grounding of the plane.