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Passenger pulled off flight for having fake hand grenade

An Air Force captain was pulled off a Horizon flight at Spokane International Airport this morning after baggage screeners found a replica hand grenade in his checked suitcase.

Spokane Airport spokesman Todd Woodard said the checked baggage screening equipment detected a hand grenade in a bag at 4:37 a.m. Officials from the Transportation Security Administration opened the bag and determined the grenade was not real. Still, Woodard said, the bag’s owner was removed from his flight for additional questioning by Airport Police and officials from the Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations.

Woodard did not know the passenger’s destination or whether the man was stationed at Fairchild Air Force Base.

“He was not charged and was allowed to continue with his travel plans” and was booked onto a later flight, Woodard said. He was allowed to keep the grenade, but Airport Police and OSI continue to investigate the incident.

Woodard said airport officials were glad to see that the screening equipment and protocols worked as intended. With today being the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, there weren’t any special security measures on board.

“We take every day pretty seriously,” Woodard said.