YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Dry-ice bombs: New details emerge in LAX explosion scare

October 15, 2013|By Richard Winton and Joseph Serna

This post has been updated. See below for details.

Los Angeles police released new details Tuesday about several dry-ice bombs found at Los Angeles International Airport in recent days, and clarified that although one was found Monday night, it did not explode.

LAPD Deputy Chief Michael Downing, who oversees the counterterrorism unit, said a total of three bombs were found Sunday and Monday -- two in the aircraft area at Tom Bradley International terminal and one in an employee bathroom in Terminal 2.

On Sunday, a dry-ice bomb exploded in the bathroom, Downing said. Then on Monday night, an airport worker found a second dry-ice bomb near Gate 148.

"The device had not detonated," Downing said.

The employee who found the dry-ice device told investigators that he found a similar bomb on Sunday, but tossed it away as garbage.

Authorities initally reported that there was an explosion Monday evening. Downing said the confusion stemmed from the employee's statements about the two separate incidents.

[Updated at 3:15 p.m. Oct. 15: Downing's accounting of the number of bombs differs with the total provided the LAPD at a news conference later in the day. The department said four dry-ice bombs have been found.] 

It is too early to ascribe a motive for the incidents, Downing said.

Investigators are considering everything from someone seeking to disrupt the airport to a prankster.

No one was injured in the explosions.

The latest device was discovered about 8:30 p.m. Monday near the gate area of the Tom Bradley International Terminal. The device -- a bottle with dry ice inside -- was in an area where employees such as baggage handlers, food loaders and others work on the aircraft and its cargo.

Cmdr. Andrew Smith said investigators are asking the public and airport employees to report anything they know about these devices or of they see anything suspicious.

Laura Eimiller, an FBI spokeswoman, said the agency is assisting the LAPD in the investigation into how the devices were placed in restricted areas at LAX.

Police at LAX said they planned to beef up security.

“The focus is definitely in the restricted area, not in the areas where passengers have access,” said airport police Sgt. Karla Ortiz. “We want to make sure that that gets tightened up.”

Police officials say there appears to be “no nexus” between terrorism and the bombs discovered over the last two days at LAX.


18-foot oarfish found off Catalina Island

USC cracks down on fraternities after injury, alcohol incidents

Man accused of killing teacher blamed her for losing care of kids

Twitter: @lacrimes| Google+

Los Angeles Times Articles