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This guy in the San Francisco Airport probably just walked past someplace where Chinese New Year's firecrackers had just been exploded as there are New Year's festivities already in progress.

He probably left because he thought, as they approached, "Gee, I have better things to do today than have a full body cavity check."

"Wednesday January 30 12:01 PM ET

Thousands Evacuated at S.F. Airport

By KIM CURTIS, Associated Press Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Thousands of people were evacuated from San Francisco International Airport early Wednesday after security guards detected explosives residue on the shoes of a man who disappeared into the crowd, an airport spokesman said.

``When they went to stop him, he didn't stop,'' spokesman Mike McCarron said. A search for the man was underway.

The explosive material could be anything from fireworks residue to nitroglycerin tablets, McCarron said. It was detected after a gauze-like material was wiped across the man's shoes, then put through a machine.

McCarron did not know whether the check was random or the man raised suspicion. The passenger was described as a white male in his 40s.

McCarron said the incident occurred about 7 a.m. amid the morning travel rush, forcing officers to clear thousand passengers from the United Airlines domestic terminal. All outgoing flights in the area were held.

``United is our largest carrier,'' he said. ``It was not a good time for this to happen.''

Lawyer Kathi Pugh of Berkeley was among those waiting for a flight.

``It just seems like they could figure out a better way to search people again rather than shut down the entire airport,'' she said by phone from the crowded security area."

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