LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Detectives Tuesday continued their efforts to find the suspect wanted for planting dry ice bombs around Los Angeles International Airport.
One dry ice bomb exploded and two soda bottles containing the dangerous material were found around 8:30 p.m. Monday at the Tom Bradley International Terminal in a restricted area, Los Angeles Police Department Det. Gus Villanueva said.
No one was injured, and no flights were delayed.
Airport police and a bomb squad cleared the items around 9:45 p.m.
Extra police patrols and bomb sniffing dogs remained at the airport Tuesday.
“We’re doing what we usually do, but we’re just more exposed today just because of what’s going on,” LAX Airport Police Officer Robert Corchado said.
On Sunday, another dry ice device exploded inside an employee bathroom at LAX’s Terminal 2. No injuries were reported in that incident.
In both instances, the bombs were left in an area of the airport that requires special clearance for access.
Cmdr. Blake Chow of the LAPD’s Counter-Terrorism and Special Operations Bureau said the evidence points in the direction of an employee or someone with access to secure areas of the airport.
“At least they found unexploded ones,” passenger Bing Smith said. “I don’t know frankly what to think about somebody getting to limited access areas that require a badge.”
KNX 1070’s Ed Mertz reports LAPD Counter-Terrorism Chief Michael Downing said part of the problem for investigators is a gap in security camera coverage throughout the airport.
“We’re looking at all the evidence, all the footage we can, but there is an issue with some of the restricted areas,” Downing said. “They don’t have cameras, so this produces a bit of a challenge.”
Authorities said there was no indication that either incident was part of a terrorist act.
The FBI is aiding the LAPD in the investigation.
“We will vigorously prosecute this individual and somebody is going to go to prison over this,” LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said. “What concerns me the most about this is the huge drain on resources for what may be a sophomoric act.”
Authorities asked anyone who took cellphone video during either incident to contact them.