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Sun, Sep 05, 2004

LAX Shuts Down: Flashlight Explosion, Suspicious Person

TSA screener injured by flashlight explosion in checked baggage, pax goes up down escalator

Four terminals at Los Angeles International Airport were shut down on Saturday after two apparently unrelated incidents took place about 30 minutes apart.

The first incident involved a passenger who bypassed airport security by traveling up a down escalator. The passenger was eventually located and authorities took over custody.

The second incident involved an explosion of a flashlight inside a piece of luggage that was being searched by a TSA screener. The flashlight apparently had badly corroded batteries and the explosion injured the worker's hands, necessitating an evacuation to the hospital. Earlier reports stated that up to nine people had been injured by the explosion, but those reports turned out to be wildly inaccurate.

The airport is now back to normal operations after both the Bradley International Terminal and three terminals used by United Airlines were closed. The terminals remained closed for some three hours. Some 30 United Airlines departing flights were delayed, and 17 incoming flights were listed as either cancelled or delayed.



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