This shocking incident happened on Friday afternoon when an employee, who was evaluating arriving shipments, opened up a container, and found a live missile at Florida airport.
After discovering the potential explosive missile, Lakeland Linder International Airport staff quickly evacuated the airport building and its surrounding neighbors and called MacDill Air Force Base for bomb disposal experts.
After getting a call from Lakeland Linder International Airport, the 6th Air Refueling Wing sent a flatbed truck to pick up the missile.
According to the Air Force 1st Lt. Brandon Hanner, the missile was live, but it was not armed. He described the situation as ‘It was like having a gun with a bullet in the chamber but on safety.’
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and the Lakeland Fire Department brought the missile back to the base where it is stored and is under observation.
The missile will be taken off the base to dispose of properly.
The missile, which was found in the container, was french made S-530 air-to-air, is no longer used by the U.S military, but only private jets use these kinds of missiles.
The container had other aircraft parts, upon finding it was discovered that the container belonged to Draken International. It is still unknown how that missile arrived at the Florida airport through shipment.
Draken International was evaluating their shipments when they discovered the potentially explosive missile, so they acted upon the safety rule, which is to expose a minimum amount of people to a potential explosive hazard for a minimum amount of time.
According to Draken International, they were quick to contact the appropriate authorities and evacuate the building, and it’s surrounding neighbors for safety measures. They also added that they take their responsibility in the community very seriously and always want to ensure safe and reliable operations.
Fortunately, with the help of the Lakeland Fire Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATP), and the EOD team from MacDill safely removed the threat and took it to the base to dispose of properly.