Second suspect arrested in Los Angeles airport ice bombs

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 18, 2013 10:41 PM

By Dan Whitcomb

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A second airport employee was arrested on Friday in connection with two dry ice explosions at the Los Angeles International Airport, police said.

Miguel Angel Iniguez, a 41-year-old employee of airport contractor Servisair, was taken into custody while he was working at the airport, the Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement.

Police officials did not immediately detail the allegations against Iniguez but said he was a supervisor for 28-year-old Dicarlo Bennett, a Servisair baggage handler who pleaded not guilty on Thursday to explosives charges and was being held on $1 million bail.

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 County Deputy District Attorney Sean Carney told reporters on Thursday police were investigating whether another person was involved in the incident, but gave no further details.

Los Angeles Airport Police Chief Patrick Gannon had said on Wednesday that Bennett intended the ice bombs to be a prank, but added: "It's not a prank and it's going to be dealt with very seriously."

The type of blast caused by dry ice 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.

Bennett's lawyer, Ben Wasserman, has said the charges against his client were too severe, and Bennett had no intent to cause any destruction. He could face up to six years in prison if convicted.

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 David Bailey and Lisa Shumaker)