Alaska's main airport shut down one of its security checkpoints for an hour Sunday after an oil worker tried to take a suspected pipe bomb onto a plane, officials said.
The man was arrested at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport and was in custody pending further charges as of 6:30 p.m. (10:30 p.m. ET), NBC station KTUU reported.
Airport operations officer Sharon Long said FBI and bomb-disposal teams were called just before 2 p.m. local time when "a small, handmade explosive device was found at a screening point in a carry-on bag."
Airport police and fire chief Jesse Davis said the device appeared to be a pipe bomb.
The suspect, an oil worker headed for the state's North Slope, told FBI agents that the device was used for setting off avalanches, according to the Anchorage Daily News.
Davis told the newspaper the man was due to board a Shared Services Aviation flight, a joint service by energy firms ConocoPhillips and BP that flies employees and contractors to Alaska's oil-rich North Slope.
Davis said the bomb did not have a triggering device. "It appeared, based on [the bomb-disposal team's] knowledge, that it wasn't an immediate danger to the traveling public," he said.
First published February 17 2014, 4:54 AM
Alexander Smith is a freelance reporter at NBCNews.com, based in London. He started work there in August, 2013, and is responsible for covering breaking news and working with overseas correspondents. He started working at NBC News having been at its standalone startup BreakingNews.com, where he was a breaking news editor. There, he was responsible for using social media to find, verify and publish breaking stories. Before his work at Breaking News, he was a reporter in the regional press where he covered crime and courts.