Officials for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at Newark Liberty International Airport discovered six smoke grenades in a man’s carry-on bag on Sunday, ahead of a flight to the Dominican Republic.
An agent pulled the bag off an X-ray conveyor belt after spotting something unusual and found the grenades neatly wrapped in bubble wrap.
Christopher Murgia, TSA's deputy federal security director, said in a statement that even though the grenades are not illegal, the item is “certainly prohibited from being brought onto an airplane because if released, smoke would fill the cabin and cause panic among the passengers and crew and possibly get into the cockpit.”
“It’s quite shocking that someone thought he could bring them on the plane at all because something like that is not even allowed in a checked bag,” he added.
According to the news release, the passenger, who has not been named, was allowed to hand off the smoke grenades to a companion, who was not traveling, and continue on his flight to the Dominican Republic.
“This is a perfect example of what a fine job our TSA officers do,” Murgia continued. “The officer staffing the X-ray machine spotted something unusual and called for the bag to be opened and inspected. It certainly turned out to be the right call.”
“Smoke grenades. In a carry-on bag. Really?” TSA Public Affairs spokesperson Lisa Farbstein wrote on Twitter of the “neatly packed” devices. “C'mon man!”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.