Bag explodes while being loaded onto flight at Chicago airport

Luggage was accidentally run over

Helen Coffey@LenniCoffey
Tuesday 22 October 2019 10:00
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Bag explodes while being loaded onto a plane at Chicago airport

A bag exploded while being loaded onto a flight at Chicago’s Midway International Airport.

The incident is believed to have been caused by a mobile phone battery or charger, according to local police.

However, the explosion, which occurred at around 12.20pm on 21 October, was reportedly sparked by the bag being accidentally run over by a luggage vehicle.

A level 1 hazmat situation was declared following the explosion, and airport operations were temporarily suspended while police investigated.

A video uploaded to Twitter by Scott McBride shows at least seven emergency services vehicles on the tarmac at the airport.

No sinister motive was detected; by 2pm airport operations were up and running again, with little disruption to any scheduled flights.

Chicago Police released the following statement: “The luggage incident at Midway Airport has been cleared. There is no public safety threat. Airport operations are resuming.”

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tweeted: “Thanks to everyone for being vigilant and to the firefighters, officers and technicians who assisted.”

Many social media users were unimpressed with the cavalier baggage handling that resulted in the explosion.

Twitter user Justin commented: “Good to know Volaris runs over their customer's luggage.”

The bag was due to be loaded onto a Volaris flight to Leon, Mexico.

The Independent has asked Chicago Midway International and Volaris for comment on the incident.

The story follows a phone causing disruption onboard an Air France flight from Paris to Chicago.

Flight AF136 was forced to divert to Shannon on 20 October after a “suspicious” mobile phone was found onboard.

It was two hours into the scheduled service when the pilot informed air traffic controllers that they thought it best to land in west Ireland “for security reasons”.

Efforts to find the owner of an unclaimed phone discovered on the aircraft proved fruitless, leading crew to decide to divert.

The plane was met by police, who removed the phone and x-rayed it.

Garda Inspector Paul Slattery told thejournal.ie: “Once we were satisfied the phone was safe, it was returned to Air France staff.”

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