Director's baby bag causes false alarm at airport
A baby's first flight is usually a memorable and stressful event.
For Anthony Chen, the first overseas trip with his four-month-old baby was momentous to say the least.
The award-winning local film-maker of Ilo Ilo fame caused some drama at Changi Airport last night when Chen triggered a bomb scare - with a bag full of baby toiletries.
The London-based Chen, 34, was travelling to Singapore from London via Zurich with his wife, Rachel, and their baby, Ethan. The family plan to spend Chinese New Year with their families here and in China.
Upon arriving at about 6pm after the long-haul flight, the trio was met by Chen's brother.
The exhausted family then absent-mindedly left a dark blue backpack containing Ethan's toiletries on a seat in the arrival hall.
Chen told The New Paper: "I was busy putting our bags onto the trolley before we left, while my wife waited with the baby and his bag. I think that's when she left it on the seat."
The family had eight bags, some of which included winter clothing for their trip to China.
Amid the excitement of his relatives meeting the baby for the first time, the couple did not realise the bag was missing until about two hours later after Chen had given Ethan a bath and was looking for a towel.
He headed back to the airport, hoping to find the missing bag.
It was about 10pm then.
Said Chen: "I was so excited when I saw the bag from a distance. It was only when I got closer that I realised there were three policemen surrounding it," said Chen.
The police officers questioned him before he was told to open the bag for them to swab.
Said Chen: "I was shocked when they told me I can't touch the 'suspicious item', and asked me why I left it there for so long.
"They also asked for my IC and boarding pass... luckily I had the electronic pass on my phone."
Chen told TNP he was more relieved than embarrassed, as the bag had Ethan's necessities and they were valuable to him.
He was also impressed by the police's efficiency.
In an Instagram post, Chen recounted the late-night drama wryly, saying how impressed he was by the police and adding the hashtags #SingaporeVerySafe and #firsttimeparents.
Having learnt their lesson, Chen said the family will be more careful when they travel to China in a month's time to visit his wife's relatives.