LOS ANGELES (AP) — Police said Tuesday they don’t believe two dry ice explosions this week in restricted areas at Los Angeles International Airport were an act of terror, and they’re pursuing the theory that the blasts were the work of a disgruntled employee.
The bombs were made by putting dry ice in 20-ounce plastic bottles and could have caused serious injury to anyone in close proximity, though no one was hurt, said Los Angeles Police Department Deputy Chief Michael Downing, who heads the department’s counter-terrorism and special operations bureau. Police are treating them as seriously as if they were pipe bombs.
“Our intent is to find the person who did it, build a prosecutable case, and put them in jail,” he said.
Investigators have not identified a suspect. They were interviewing employees Tuesday and requesting that anyone with information come forward.
Police believe the explosions were set off because of an internal labor dispute and not terrorism because of the locations of the devices and because no innocent civilians were targeted, Downing said.
One device exploded in an employee men’s room Sunday night in Terminal 2. Remnants of an exploded bottle also were found that night on the tarmac area near the Tom Bradley International Terminal, but an employee threw it away. The same employee found an unexploded bottle Monday evening and then reported what he found the previous day.
There were no reports of any injuries or evacuations. Flights were delayed Sunday night, but no flights were affected Monday.
While the two terminals are not connected, Downing said an employee could walk or drive between them on the tarmac.
Investigators were checking surveillance video and planned to hand out pamphlets to employees telling them about the serious nature of the crime and that it wouldn’t be tolerated, Downing said.
While there are cameras in some of these restricted-access areas, Downing said there isn’t as much camera coverage as in the public-access areas.
Airport police have increased patrols. The airport also has increased its checks on some employees — asking them to produce valid IDs — and will continue to do so until the case is solved, said Arif Alikhan, deputy executive director for Homeland Security and Law Enforcement at Los Angeles World Airports.
“We’re increasing our presence, increasing our tempo, educating our employees, talking to all employers about this,” Alikhan said. “We’re doing everything we can.”
Employees have to undergo a criminal history check and pass a security threat assessment to receive access badges at the airport, though they aren’t required to clear airport security to get to work, Alikhan said.
Dry ice is widely used by vendors to keep food fresh.
According to the Transportation Security Administration’s website, passengers can pack perishables in up to 5 pounds of dry ice in their carry-on or checked baggage as long as it’s properly packaged — meaning the package is vented. Even so, the agency reserves the right to not allow it on the plane if they believe it poses a security concern.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
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5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
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6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
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7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
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8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
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9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
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10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
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11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
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12. Late nights mornings
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13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
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14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
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15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
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16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
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17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
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18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
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19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
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20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
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21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
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22. Claudia Jordan: ....
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23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
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24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
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25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
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