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Hawaii’s Hilo Airport evacuated after two grenades spotted in man’s carry-on bag during scan

Simon Calder’s Travel

Hawaii‘s Hilo International Airport was brought to a halt when security screeners spotted two items that looked like grenades in a man’s bag.

The items belonged to a man from Japan and were detected during x-ray screening within a carry-on bag.

Officers evacuated the terminal area Tuesday morning while a bomb squad determined the grenades were inert, according to a Hawaii Police Department statement. Airport operations resumed about an hour later.

Police spokesperson Denise Laitinen said in an email Wednesday that she’s looking into details about the grenades being inert.

Police arrested a 41-year-old man from Kanazawa, Japan, on suspicion of first-degree terroristic threatening. He was taken to an east Hawaii detention facility and then released pending investigation, police said.

The inert grenades were confiscated by police
The inert grenades were confiscated by police (The Hawaii Police Department)

A statement read: ‘At 6:45 a.m., police arrested 41-year-old Akito Fukushima of Kanazawa, Japan, for first-degree terroristic threatening. Fukushima was transported to HPD’s East Hawaii Detention Facility and remains in custody while Detectives of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section continue the investigation. The airport resumed operations at 6:50 a.m.’

Hawaii Police Capt Brian Prudencio told the Khon2 local television station: “He cooperated with officials, however, it is undetermined at this time as detectives are continuing their investigation.”

Airport operations resumed just over an hour after they were suspended.

Police release the mugshot of Akito Fukushima after his arrest
Police release the mugshot of Akito Fukushima after his arrest (Police release the mugshot of Akito Fukushima after his arrest)

“We remind the public to be mindful of what they travel with. If they have any questions, contact the TSA for any items that, whether or not they question, what they can travel with,” Prudencio said.

“When a traveller brings any type of grenade to the airport, it causes operations to shut down and delays travellers,” Lorie Dankers, a spokesperson for the Transport Security Administration (TSA) told Khon2 TV.

“Please, be aware of the contents of your luggage prior to coming to the airport to avoid this type of situation from occurring.”

The Transportation Security Administration prohibits replicas of explosives, including hand grenades, in checked or carry-on luggage.

A police statement added: ‘Police remind the public…

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