Apparent pipe bomb closes Philadelphia International Airport checked baggage room

Local Press Release
Friday, July 12, 2019
TSA officers discovered what appeared to be a pipe bomb in a checked bag at Philadelphia International Airport on Thursday. (TSA photo)

PHILADELPHIA —  A device that had the makings of what appeared to be a pipe bomb was discovered by Transportation Security Administration officers in a checked bag at Philadelphia International Airport yesterday, July 10, resulting in the evacuation of personnel from the checked baggage room.

When the checked bag triggered an alarm, it was opened by a TSA officer who spotted the bomb-like device. Police were notified and the bomb squad was called to the scene.

Officials tracked down the passenger, who told them that the device was a prototype laser for a robot, but authorities took no chances until the bomb squad was able to clear the device and determine that it did not pose a threat to anyone.

The checked baggage room was closed for 42 minutes.

“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,” said Gerardo Spero, TSA’s Acting Federal Security Director for Philadelphia International Airport. “Fortunately it turned out to be harmless, but we don’t take chances when something like this is spotted.”

After the device was determined to be harmless, the passenger and his belongings were cleared to catch their flight.