An unknown device resembling a pipe bomb forced Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers to evacuate a checked baggage room at Philadelphia International Airport on Wednesday.
A TSA officer discovered the device after opening a checked bag that triggered an alarm.
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The police were notified and a bomb squad was called to the scene to investigate the item, which turned out to be a prototype laser for a robot. Officials ultimately cleared the device, however, the checked baggage room was closed for more than 40 minutes.
The passenger responsible for the item was cleared along with the rest of his belongings to catch his flight out of Philadelphia.
TSA Acting Federal Security Director for Philadelphia International Airport, Gerardo Spero praised officers for their quick action and following protocol.
“The TSA officers who discovered the device did exactly what they were supposed to do in notifying supervisors and clearing the area until the bomb squad could clear the item,” Spero said in a statement. “Fortunately it turned out to be harmless but we don’t take chances when something like this is spotted.”
The room was evacuated and closed for about 40 minutes after officers spotted the device in a checked bag. https://t.co/MKpyNFcW3x
— CBS Philly (@CBSPhilly) July 12, 2019
Last year, a man attempted to bring a fake bomb through a security checkpoint at Newark Liberty International Airport, prompting officers to close as many as six security lines for several hours.