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Saturday 20 September 2014

Man facing airport blasts charges

Published 17/10/2013 | 19:51

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Dicarlo Bennett works as a baggage handler for an airport service company (AP)

A man suspected over dry ice bottle blasts at Los Angeles International Airport is to be charged with two counts of possessing a destructive device in a public place, the district attorney's office said today.

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Dicarlo Bennett, 28, will be arraigned later in the day at the airport branch courthouse.

The 28-year-old, who works as a baggage handler for an airport service company. is being held on 1 million US dollars (£625,700) bail.

No-one was injured in Sunday's blasts which authorities say were carried out for amusement in areas of the airport only accessible to employees.

The charges are punishable by up to six years in jail.

Airport officials changed their policy on how dry ice is discarded after an abandoned container of dry ice from a plane was used to fashion and explode the bombs.

The airport will now require employees to return dry ice - often used to keep food fresh - to a warehouse and not leave it out on the tarmac, said Los Angeles Airport Police Chief Patrick Gannon.

Airport officials plan to meet law enforcement authorities in the coming days to examine other potential security enhancements at one of the nation's busiest airports.

A 20oz (566g) plastic bottle packed with dry ice exploded in an employee toilet and another blew up on the airport's tarmac. An employee found a third unexploded plastic bottle still expanding on the tarmac on Monday.

Investigators believe the bombs were set "out of a desire to construct and experience a device exploding", said Los Angeles police Lieutenant John Karle. He called it foolish and negligent behaviour.

Police primarily relied on interviews with witnesses and physical evidence but also reviewed surveillance video.

Cameras cover some of these restricted-access areas, but there is less coverage than in public-access areas.

The union representing police at LAX said the incident highlights the need for the installation of more security cameras at the airport.

AP

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