Terminal 1 of Los Angeles International Airport was partially evacuated Wednesday, September 29th, after a rocket launcher was found in the checked luggage of a passenger.
Authorities evacuated the Southwest Airlines ticketing lobby in Terminal 1 at 12:57 p.m. when the explosives detection machine by the ticketing counter detected an explosive pile of residue in the luggage, said Tom Winfrey, LAX media spokesman.
The road leading to the terminal was also partially closed, and the bomb squad cleared the area, he said.
Authorities located the man who owned the luggage and determined that the rocket launcher was not an explosive device, but was modified for pyrotechnics, he said.
“It wasn’t explosive, so there was no danger,” he said.
The man, who was traveling to Orlando, Florida, told federal enforcement officers that he is a defense contractor who also works in the film industry.
“It’s remarkable what people think they should check in,” Winfrey said. “We were amazed by that.”
The Southwest Airlines ticketing lobby was reopened to passengers at about 1:28 p.m.
“People need to be aware of what they take on the airplane because it can cause a lot of inconvenience,” he said.