People were evacuated from the baggage claim area of Terminal 2 at the San Diego International Airport on Wednesday night, according to airport operations.
Airport officials said smoke was seen coming out of the vents around 9:30 p.m. They said they did not believe it was a fire, but still evacuated passengers as a precaution.
People waited outside while firefighters examined the empty terminal. After giving the all-clear, passengers were allowed back inside about 45 minutes later.
Pam Combs of Temecula had just touched down after visiting her newborn grandchild in Indiana when she realized something was wrong.
"Got off the plane. They started rerouting us not toward baggage claim, but out around," Combs explained.
"Your first thought is terrorists or a bomb or something like that," she continued, "but all you could see was just the smoke and smell the smoke."
Combs said there was no sense of panic inside the terminal.
Both the San Diego Fire Department and Harbor Police responded to the scene. Fire officials said smoke was coming from the ventilation system.
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