Story Summary

Dry Ice Bombs Explode at LAX

LAX-police-tarmac

A Los Angeles Airport Police vehicle is seen at LAX on Sunday night.

The explosion of dry-ice bombs at Los Angeles International Airport on Oct. 13 and Oct. 14 prompted a massive police response. Two employees of a service company at LAX were charged.

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Two LAX workers pleaded no contest Friday to charges they faced in connection with dry-ice explosions that caused flight delays and an emergency response at the airport last October.

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Dicarlo Bennett, left is scene at his arraignment on Oct. 17, 2013; Miguel Angel Iñiguez is pictured at his Oct. 22, 2013, arraignment. (Credit: KTLA)

Dicarlo Bennett, 29, and Miguel Angel Iñiguez, 41, had each been charged with one felony count of possession of a destructive device.

After entering their no contest pleas, they were sentenced to three years of probation and 480 hours of community service, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Bennett and Iñiguez were employees of Servisair, a company that provides cargo, baggage and de-icing services.

They placed three explosive devices — two of which exploded — near terminals at Los Angeles International Airport in October 2013, accordion to the prosecutor.

Police had said the incidents may have been part of a misguided prank.

A second suspect in a series of dry ice bombs found at LAX pleaded not guilty Tuesday on a charge that he made a device that detonated outside the airport’s new international terminal.

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Miguel Angel Iniguez appears at his arraignment hearing at the Airport Courthouse on Oct. 22, 2013. (Credit: KTLA)

Miguel Angel Iniguez, a 41-year-old from Inglewood, is the supervisor of another airport employee and his co-defendant, 28-year-old Dicarlo Bennett of Paramount. Both work for Servisair, which provides baggage and other airport services at Los Angeles International Airport.

Bennett pleaded not guilty last week to two counts of felony counts of possession of a destructive device near an airplane.

Iniguez was charged Monday with one count of the same and appeared for arraignment Tuesday afternoon at the Airport Courthouse. In court, he still wore a white shirt bearing the Servisair name.

Iniguez and Bennett are charged in connection with a  series of dry-ice devices found at LAX in areas closed to the public. The devices, which authorities had said could have been a misguided prank, prompted a massive police response, including a bomb squad, on Oct. 13 and Oct. 14.

Bennett allegedly placed two dry ice bombs at LAX — one that exploded in an employee restroom at Terminal 2 and another that did not detonate at the Tom Bradley International Terminal, according to the DA’s office.

Iniguez is accused of making a third device that detonated outside the newly refurbished Bradley terminal, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office stated.

Iniguez and Bennett two will be tried together, according to Iniguez’s defense attorney, Gustavo Barcena, who described his client as a family man who was the sole income-earner for his wife and four children.

“He had no disciplinary problems,” Barcena said. “A clean record at work, and no criminal history whatsoever.”

Iniguez had a kidney transplant several years ago and requires daily medication, Barcena said.

Iniguez’s bail was set at $500,000. Bennett’s bail remained at $1 million and he was being held at the Men’s Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles, online inmate records showed.

A bail hearing for both suspects was scheduled for Wednesday.

KTLA’s Christina Pascucci contributed to this report.

The supervisor of an LAX employee accused in a series of dry ice attacks was himself charged Monday with allegedly making an explosive device that detonated outside the airport’s international terminal.

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Miguel Angel Iniguez, seen here in a photo from his Facebook page, was charged in connection with a series of dry ice bombs found at LAX.

Miguel Angel Iniguez, 41, who had been arrested Oct. 18, supervised co-defendant Dicarlo Bennett, 28, at Servisair, which provides baggage and other airport services at Los Angeles International Airport.

The two are charged in connection with a  series of dry-ice devices found at LAX is areas closed to the public. The devices, which authorities had said could have been a misguided prank, prompted massive police response, including a bomb squad, on Oct. 13 and Oct. 14.

Bennett, of Paramount, was charged last week with two felony counts of possession of a destructive device near an airplane. Iniquez was charged Monday with one count of the same, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Bennett alleged placed two dry ice bombs at LAX — one that exploded in an employee restroom at Terminal 2 and another that did not detonate at the Tom Bradley International Terminal, according to the DA’s office.

Iniguez, of Inglewood, is accused of making a third device that detonated outside the Bradley terminal, the DA’s office stated. He is due at the Airport Courthouse for arraignment on Tuesday morning.

Prosecutors requested that his bail be set at $500,000.

The Los Angeles Police Department is continuing to investigate the case.

Police arrested a second man Friday in connection with a series of dry ice bombs at LAX during the past week.

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Miguel Angel Iniguez, seen here in a photo from his Facebook page, was arrested Friday in connection with dry ice bombs found at LAX.

Miguel Angel Iniguez, 41, was taken into custody at LAX where he is employed as a supervisor for Servisair, a global provider of aviation ground services, according to a news release from the Los Angeles Police Department.

Iniguez was responsible for supervising 28-year-old baggage handler, Dicarlo Bennet, who was arrested earlier in the week, police said.

Iniguez was booked on suspicion of possessing a destructive device near an aircraft. He is being held on $500,000 bail.

On Thursday, Bennett pleaded not guilty to two counts of possession of a destructive device in a public place, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

A bail hearing for Bennett was scheduled for Oct. 23; meanwhile, he was being held on $1 million bail.

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Dicarlo Bennett appeared next to his attorney for arraignment at the Airport Courthouse on Oct. 17, 2013.

Police arrested Bennett at his Paramount apartment on Tuesday, after two dry ice bombs in as many days exploded at the airport.

No one was injured in the incidents, which occurred in an employee restroom in Terminal 2 and outside the Tom Bradley International Terminal.

The bombs may have been part of a misguided prank, authorities have said.

A man suspected of planting dry ice bombs at Los Angeles International Airport pleaded not guilty at his arraignment hearing Thursday.

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Dicarlo Bennett appeared next to his attorney for arraignment at the Airport Courthouse on Oct. 17, 2013.

Dicarlo Bennett, 28, is charged with two counts of possession of a destructive device in a public place, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

The Jamaican-born U.S. citizen appeared before dozens of news cameras at the Airport Courthouse, not far from LAX.

Los Angeles police arrested Bennett at his Paramount apartment on Tuesday, after two dry ice bombs in as many days exploded at the airport.

No one was injured in the incidents, which occurred in an employee restroom in Terminal 2 and outside the Tom Bradley International Terminal. The bombs may have been part of a misguided prank, authorities have said.

Bennett’s attorney, Ben Wasserman, called his client “squeaky clean,” saying he was wrongly accused. Bennett was removing discarded dry ice from an area where an animal was traveling on a plane, Wasserman said.

“The fumes can kill the animal, so he removed the dry ice from the area where the animal was,” Wasserman said.

The airport has changed how it requires dry ice to be disposed of since the incident, airport police said Wednesday.

Investigators were looking for additional people involved in the bombs, Deputy District Attorney Sean Carney told KTLA.

After his arrest, Bennett was booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center, the Los Angeles Police Department had said.

Bennett is an employee of Servisair, a company official confirmed Wednesday. Servisair is a contractor that provides a variety of services at the airport, including baggage handling and aircraft de-icing.

If convicted on both counts, Bennett faces up to six years county jail, the DA’s office said.

A bail hearing for Bennett was scheduled for Oct. 23; meanwhile, he was being held on $1 million bail.

KTLA’s Kareen Wynter contributed to this report.

A suspect was in custody Wednesday after being arrested in connection with dry ice explosions at Los Angeles International Airport that he may have considered a prank, authorities said.

Dicarlo Bennett, 28, was taken into custody at his Paramount apartment late Tuesday, a day after a dry ice explosion occurred in a restricted area of LAX on Monday night, the second such explosion in as many days, authorities said.

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“LAX is safe and secure,” Los Angeles Airport Police Chief Patrick Gannon said in a statement.

Bennett is an employee of Servisair, which provides cargo, baggage and de-icing services at LAX, the company confirmed Wednesday.

“A person familiar with the device wanted to experience constructing it and detonating it,” said Lt. John Karle of the LAPD, who called the incident a “prank.”

Bennett was booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center for felony possession of explosives near an aircraft, LAPD said in a news release. His bail was set at $1 million.

Bennett has reportedly confessed to setting two bombs at LAX.

Family friend Ronald Lewis described Bennett as a good, happy kid.

“Everybody in the neighborhood loved him,” Lewis told KTLA. “He was so excited when he got his job at the airport.”

A dry ice device exploded just before 8:30 p.m. Monday in the area of Gate 148 at the Tom Bradley International Terminal of Los Angeles International Airport. It was found in an area not accessible to the public, as was a 20 oz. bottle filled with dry ice that exploded Sunday night in an employee restroom at Terminal 2, police said.

Conflicting information about the total number of devices found was given by police Monday and Tuesday, but officials later clarified discrepancies and said three devices had been discovered.

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This image is from a Facebook page listed for Dicarlo Bennett; the page identifies him as a ramp supervisor at Servisair.

A fizzing bottle was found on the tarmac outside the international terminal Monday night by an employee who told police he had cleaned up a similar device the previous day that had apparently exploded in the same area. Another suspected device was found on the tarmac Monday, but that turned out the be trash.

Dry ice is solid carbon dioxide that can be used to keep food cool, and authorities noted that many food vendors at the airport use dry ice. If handled with bare skin, it can burn. YouTube videos show how easy it is to make a “bomb” using pieces of dry ice and plastic bottles.

“Even though they’re soda bottles, the pressure that’s created inside of them is extreme,” Cmdr. Blake Chow of the Los Angeles Police Department’s counterterrorism bureau said Tuesday.

“It actually can blow up with as much force as a pipe bomb, so that’s why we take these very seriously,” he said.

KTLA’s Christina Pascucci and Kareen Wynter contributed to this report.

An arrest was made Tuesday in an investigation into a dry ice explosion that occurred in a restricted area of LAX on Monday night, the second such explosion in as many days, authorities said.

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A bomb squad responded after a dry ice explosion at LAX Monday night.

A 28-year-old airport employee was arrested late Tuesday, the Associated Press reported, attributing the information to a law enforcement official who was not allowed to speak publicly about the investigation.

Dicarlo Bennett, a Servisair employee, had taken dry ice from a plane to make the bombs, the AP reported.

Los Angeles police confirmed Bennett’s arrest, but they did not confirm his employment status.

Bennett was taken into custody in Paramount and booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center for felony possession of explosives near an aircraft, LAPD said in a news release. His bail was initially set at $1 million.

Earlier Tuesday, police planned to examine surveillance footage and talk to employees and supervisors in an attempt to identify the person who placed the explosive devices, Cmdr. Blake Chow of the Los Angeles Police Department’s counterterrorism bureau said.

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This image is from the Facebook page listed for Dicarlo Bennett; the page identifies him as a ramp supervisor at Servisair.

A dry ice device exploded just before 8:30 p.m. Monday in the area of Gate 148 at the Tom Bradley International Terminal of Los Angeles International Airport. It was found in an area not accessible to the public, as was a 20 oz. bottle filled with dry ice that exploded Sunday night in an employee restroom at Terminal 2, police said.

Conflicting information about the total number of devices found was given by police Monday and Tuesday, but the Los Angeles Times reported that officials later clarified discrepancies and said three devices had been discovered.

A fizzing bottle was found on the tarmac outside the international terminal Monday night by an employee who told police he had cleaned up a similar device the previous day that had apparently exploded in the same area. Another suspected device was found on the tarmac Monday, but that turned out the be trash, the newspaper reported.

Dry ice is solid carbon dioxide that can be used to keep food cool, and authorities noted that many food vendors at the airport use dry ice. If handled with bare skin, it can burn. YouTube videos show how easy it is to make a “bomb” using pieces of dry ice and plastic bottles.

“Even though they’re soda bottles, the pressure that’s created inside of them is extreme,” Chow told news reporters.

“It actually can blow up with as much force as a pipe bomb, so that’s why we take these very seriously,” he said.

LAPD’s bomb squad, detectives from the department’s criminal conspiracy section and the city fire department had responded to Monday night’s explosion.

Authorities said the bombs did not appear to be linked to international terrorism and that no one had been injured.

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck warned that the perpetrator would be punished.

“We will catch the people involved, whether they be internal or external to the airport, and we will prosecute them vigorously,” Beck said. “Somebody will go to prison over this.”

Anyone with information was urged to contact LAPD at 877-527-3247 (877-LAPD-2547).

KTLA’s Christina Pascucci and Kareen Wynter contributed to this report.

One dry ice explosion occurred and two dry ices bombs were found  in a restricted area of LAX Monday night, a day after a similar incident drew a multiagency response, authorities said.

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A bomb squad responded after a dry ice explosion at LAX Monday night.

A dry ice device exploded just before 8:30 p.m., and two other unexploded devices were found in the area of Gate 148 at the Tom Bradley International Terminal of Los Angeles International Airport, LAPD Detective Gus Villanueva said.

The suspicious items were reported in a space not accessible to the general public, Los Angeles Airport Police Sgt. Karla Ortiz said.

Likewise, on Sunday, the suspicious item — a 20 oz. bottle filled with dry ice — was in a restricted area, an employee restroom.

A Los Angeles Police Department bomb squad and the city fire department were on scene Monday night, and detectives from the criminal conspiracy section were also on responding, Villanueva said.

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A bomb squad was responding to Los Angeles International Airport on Monday night. (credit: Steve Kuzj)

Police activity was complete by 10:15 p.m., airport police tweeted. Vehicle flow for departures and arrivals traffic was not impacted by the activity, airport police had said earlier on Twitter.

There was no “nexus to terrorism” and no reports of injuries, Villanueva added.

Aerial video showed dozens on patrol cars on scene and officers concentrated in an area between two jets next to the Bradley terminal.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has joined a group of agencies that are conducting a joint investigation into a dry ice explosion that occurred in an employee restroom at Los Angeles International Airport on Sunday night, authorities said.

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A Los Angeles Airport Police vehicle is seen at LAX on Sunday night.

No injuries were reported in the incident, which occurred about 7 p.m. in Terminal 2, said Laura Eimiller, spokeswoman for the FBI’s Los Angeles field office. Responders found a plastic 20 oz. bottle in the restroom, which is located in a restricted area of the terminal.

The Transportation Safety Administration resumed screening after it was temporarily halted as a precaution during the investigation, Eimiller said.

In addition to the FBI, the Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles Airport Police, the Los Angeles Fire Department, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the TSA were investigating the explosion.

Security at LAX was heightened in September after a former TSA agent was arrested for allegedly making terrorist threats related to the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

In May, a Disneyland employee was arrested in connection with a small dry-ice explosion in the theme park’s Toontown area.

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