Airport security discovers suspicious device in luggage thought to be a bomb (photo)


A major security threat prompted the delay of an IndiGo flight out of the Mangalore Airport in India Tuesday.

Airport scanners discovered what they first believed to be a cellphone bomb hidden in a passenger’s luggage that was supposed to go on the flight from Mangalore to Dubai.

Police were called after the device was discovered, and a 26-year-old man was arrested.

The news media in India reported that a “suspicious clay-like object” was found hidden inside the cell phone, packed in the man’s checked luggage.

Sniffer dogs had reportedly given a “mixed signal” as to whether the device was an actual explosive, or if it contained a chemical that could potentially be used to launch a gas attack.

India’s Times Now reported the device was later identified as a homemade “power bank” and said it “could have been an attempt to examine security measures, to see if the device could pass through to the flight.”

“It was a self-made power bank and after [a] thorough check, it was allowed to proceed,” said Mangaluru Police Commissioner T.S Suresh.

A photo of the device, after it was opened, shows red and yellow electrical wires connected to a small silver item, with a brown packing material filling in the empty space to keep the objects in place.

According to The Times of India, a senior aviation official said, “The passenger, M Mohammed, was booked on IndiGo’s flight 6E 877 from Mangalore to Bangalore at 10 p.m. on Tuesday and then he was to travel from Bangalore to Dubai on IndiGo flight 6E 95 Wednesday at 7.20 a.m.

“While screening his checked in baggage at Mangalore, the screener noticed that a power bank was in his bag which looked suspicious (as it showed a green-colored thick image). “(The screener) did a physical check and opened the power bank to check and noticed a clay-like substance in the power bank.”

Dozens of flights per day go out from the Mangalore airport to domestic and major middle eastern cities. Among its most popular destinations are Doha, Dubai, Kuwait, and Bahrain.

In the United States, an American Airlines flight was grounded at the Charlotte airport in North Carolina in August, after a cellphone stun gun was found on board.

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