LOS ANGELES -- Three more dry ice bombs were found near a plane at the international terminal of Los Angeles International Airport late Monday, prompting a major search by airport police, the LAPD bomb squad and the FBI.
The dry ice bombs were found near a plane parked at Gate 148 after one of the devices went off at around 8.30 p.m. local time (11.30 p.m. ET), according to airport police.
The gate is in the Tom Bradley International Terminal, the airport’s “crown jewel” which completed a $1.9-billion upgrade last month.
It was the second such incident at the airport in as many days. A dry ice bomb in a soda bottle exploded in an employee restroom in Terminal 2 late Sunday.
Dry ice bombs typically consist of a plastic bottle filled with water and solid carbon dioxide. As the carbon dioxide turns to a gas it expands and causes the bottle to burst. They are prohibited in California and several other states.
Airport spokeswoman Katherine Alvarado described the bottles found Monday night as "harmless."
There were no reported injuries and Alvarado said there had been no disruption to flights. A crew of cleaners had to be evacuated from the plane near where the bottles were placed.
The incident was clear by 9.45 p.m. local time, Alvarado said.
Airport police Sgt. Karla Ortiz said it was too early to talk about suspects or motives, but law enforcement sources told NBC News the incidents were probably a prank. There is no known terrorism connection, the law enforcement sources said.
“We have to finish our investigations to find out what the cause was,” Ortiz said. “We always do our best to prevent such incidents but we will be keeping our eyes peeled following these similar events.”
There was a similar incident at 7 p.m. local time on Sunday when another dry ice bomb went off in an empty bathroom in a restricted area.
No injuries were reported, but several flights were delayed and the FBI said it was investigating.
A dry ice bomb went off in a trash can in Disneyland’s Toontown in May. No one was hurt but the park was evacuated.
Alexander Smith reported from London.
First published October 15 2013, 2:48 AM