‘Novelty Grenade’ Causes Bomb Scare at Houston Hobby Airport

Jun 7, 2018

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A security checkpoint at Houston’s William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) shut down for a period on Thursday when a suspicious item was found in a passenger’s bag. The item was later determined to be a toy grenade.

According to a Houston Airport System spokesperson, a Transportation Security Administration agent spotted a suspicious item in a passenger’s bag around 4:35am local time. When the item was discovered, airport officials forced hundreds of passengers waiting in the line to move away from the immediate area.

“My wife and I were waiting to drop our bags into the X-ray machine and go through the detector, and I heard a TSA agent scream ‘Shut it down, shut it down, shut it down!'” said John L. Moore, a passenger who is also an AP journalist. “Everyone was looking around, confused, and people were ordered to ‘Clear out now!'”

A bomb squad was brought in and determined that the suspicious item was a “novelty grenade.” According to KTRK, Houston police confirmed that the toy belonged to a 17-year-old Boy Scout. The traveler was not taken into custody.

The airport spokesperson said that Southwest is adjusting some flights to accommodate travelers who were delayed in getting to their gate because of the scare. The airport is also recommending that if you’re flying through HOU on Thursday to contact your airline to make sure your flight hasn’t been affected.

Thursday’s incident at HOU comes just one day after a similar bomb scare at Houston’s other airport, George Bush Intercontinental (IAH). On Wednesday, police detained “an impatient passenger” who commented about explosives in a bag at the airport. The spokesperson for the airport said that the passenger’s “inappropriate comment” forced the international terminal at IAH to close for nearly an hour as a bomb squad was brought in.

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