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'This bike is a pipe bomb' band sticker clears Memphis terminal

  • Story Highlights
  • Police alerted after pilot saw bike with sticker saying "this bike is a pipe bomb"
  • Fears prompt evacuation of terminal, baggage claim at Memphis airport
  • "This Bike is a Pipe Bomb" is the name of a band based in Pensacola, Florida
  • Bikes sporting similar stickers at college campuses led to bomb fears
  • Next Article in U.S. »
By Janet DiGiacomo
CNN
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(CNN) -- A bicycle with a sticker advertising a Florida punk-folk band forced the evacuation of a Memphis, Tennessee, airport terminal late Monday afternoon, authorities said.

A pilot alerted airport police when he saw a bike with a sticker that read "this bike is a pipe bomb" parked near the passenger ramps of Terminal C at Memphis International Airport, according to the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority.

"Terminal C ticketing and baggage claim at the airport were cleared out," said airport spokesman John Greaud. "A K-9 unit responded and found no explosive materials at the scene."

"This Bike is a Pipe Bomb" is the name of a band based in Pensacola, Florida, and this is not the first time in the band's 12-year history the name has caused a commotion.

Bikes sporting similar stickers at college campuses in Ohio and Philadelphia led to building closures, arrests and the bikes' destruction by bomb squads acting on the assumption the sticker was announcing a real threat.

The owner of the Memphis bike was taken into custody by airport police, Greaud said, but was later released because they had no grounds to hold him. Greaud said federal authorities were discussing possible federal charges, but a federal source said it was "a non-event."

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