BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Checked baggage operations were temporarily suspended at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Airport after four grenade rounds were discovered in a passenger’s bag, according to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
TSA Explosive Specialist Mario Medina notified the bomb squad of the four 40mm grenades on Wednesday morning. The Birmingham Police Department and the FBI were also notified.
“We do not have the authority to arrest passengers or charge them, so we contact them and they take the investigation from there,” said TSA Regional Spokesperson Mark Howell.
Howell could not provide information about what happened with the baggage owner after the incident. He also said he could not confirm at the time of the interview whether or not the grenade rounds were live or inert.
However, Howell said the munitions were safely removed from the baggage area and that checked baggage operations had resumed. There were no delays for flights or passengers.
Howell said finding the grenade rounds was unique, but officers do find other prohibited items on a regular basis.
“It’s more common up here at the checkpoint. We find prohibited items probably every few minutes,” said Howell.
Surrendered items usually include liquids, aerosols and pocket knives, but they do find guns often as well. Statewide 69 guns have been surrendered at airports so far this year with 40 of those guns being surrendered in Birmingham.