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Dry Ice Bomb: LA Airport Worker Arrested in 3 Explosions

Image: Dry Ice Bomb: LA Airport Worker Arrested in 3 Explosions Entrance to the Tom Bradley International Terminal in Los Angeles.

By Clyde Hughes   |   Wednesday, 16 Oct 2013 07:26 AM

Authorities arrested a contract worker late Tuesday in connection with explosions from homemade dry ice bombs at Los Angeles International Airport this weekend.

KTLA-TV reported that Los Angeles police took Dicarlo Bennett, an employee of Servisair, into custody for alleged dry ice explosions from three devices. Authorities accuse him of taking dry ice from a plane to make the bombs. 

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The three dry ice bombs were found Sunday and Monday, officials said. 

Bennett, 28, worked as a baggage handler for Servisair, which is contracted by LAX. He was booked on charges of possession of a destructive device near an aircraft and held on $1 million bail, according to the Associated Press.

Law enforcement told reporters that they did not think the dry ice bomb explosions were terroristic because they occured in restricted areas and did not threaten the general public. No one was injured in the explosions. However, some flights were delayed Sunday. 

The first device, a 20-ounce plastic bottle filled with dry ice. was discovered about 7 p.m. Sunday after it exploded in an employee-only restroom at Terminal 2, authorities told the Los Angeles Times. The second was found the following day on the tarmac outside the Tom Bradley International Terminal, officials said. A similar device was found in the same area after it had already exploded later that day.

Servisair, part of the Derichebourg Group, is contracted with 119 airports in 20 countries and employs 54,300 employees.

Dry ice is solid carbon dioxide that can be used to keep food cool and is used by many food vendors at the airport. The television station said the dry ice can burn bare skin if touched.

Dry ice bombs are not difficult to make with plastic soda bottles, a commander with the Los Angeles Police Department’s counterterrorism bureau said.

"Even though they’re soda bottles, the pressure that’s created inside of them is extreme," Chow told reporters at a news conference. "It actually can blow up with as much force as a pipe bomb, so that’s why we take these very seriously."

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