Los Angeles airport worker to be arraigned over dry ice blasts

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 17, 2013 2:23 PM

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A baggage handler accused of setting off two dry ice bombs at Los Angeles International Airport, purportedly as a prank, is due to be arraigned on explosives charges on Thursday, prosecutors said.

Dicarlo Bennett, a 28-year-old Servisair employee, was held on $1 million bail after his arrest on Tuesday. He is due to appear in court on two counts of possessing a destructive device in a public place.

Prosecutors said in a statement that Bennett, if convicted, could face up to six years in county jail.

One of the bombs detonated on Sunday evening in an employee restroom and the second exploded outside the Tom Bradley International Terminal on Monday, causing some flight disruptions. An unexploded device was found later that night.

Authorities have said there were no connections to terrorism in the case.

Los Angeles Airport Police Chief Patrick Gannon told reporters on Wednesday that Bennett intended the ice bombs to be

a prank, but said: "It's not a prank and it's going to be dealt with very seriously."

That type of blast is typically created by putting dry ice into a bottle or other container and sealing it tightly, which allows pressure to build until it explodes.

Bennett is suspected of having obtained the dry ice via his job at the airport, prompting officials there to announce that they would change policies regarding handling of the materials.

In May, a similar device went off at Disneyland, forcing evacuation of a section of the park in Anaheim, California.

(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Gunna Dickson)