November 1st, 2011
01:53 PM ET

One person hurt after bag explosion at Chicago's O’Hare Airport

The FBI is investigating an incident Tuesday at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport after a checked bag exploded or combusted.

The suspicious item was a checked bag in the C Concourse, according to  Transportation Security Administration spokesman Greg Soule.

Soule said  Chicago police, fire and ordnance teams are on the scene. The FBI is interviewing the owner of the bag, Soule said. He added that a perimeter has been established to ensure the safety of people in the area. There were no evacuation orders in place, officials said.

United Airlines spokeswoman Mary Ryan said one employee had been taken to an area hospital.

“A United Airlines baggage handler received minor burns while handling 'pelican cases' which contained batteries,” according to Larry Langford with the Chicago Fire Department. “While the investigation is still under way, it is believed that a metal strip may have triggered the batteries inside the case. There is no criminal activity suspected and (it) is being treated as an accident. The Chicago Fire Department is checking other containers."

CNN’s Kara Devlin contributed to this report.

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Filed under: Air travel • Travel
soundoff (146 Responses)
  1. San Jose

    Oh great! How'd it get through bag check?!

    November 1, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • jsmalberis

      PLEASE READ ... Just because something in your checked baggage has batteries does not mean it WILL explode ... geez can anyone get past the first two lines of a report BEFORE asking stupid questions ???

      November 1, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jeff Williams

    Lithium batteries

    November 1, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Undefeated


    November 1, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Doug

    Quick! They are distracted! Get the dirty bomb on the plane!

    November 1, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • cesar

      You have a criminal mind my friend.

      November 1, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • driranek

      Given the toxicity of lithium and the other stuff in batteries, that was a dirty bomb. It successfully threw a major airport into chaos...

      November 1, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  5. FedUP


    November 1, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Still Hungry


      November 1, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Call Everyone!

    finally all those TSA people have something real on their hands...oh wait, it's batteries...

    November 1, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  7. JThomas2121

    Do people just not realize that we need to ban ALL batteries in this country? They kill people every day.

    November 1, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bruce

      Batteries don't kill people, people kill people 🙂

      November 1, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |

      People kill batteries.

      November 1, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jae

    Darn obama, he is a failure. How could he not see this? This happened because of socialism. If he didnt spread my wealth that guy would mot ne able to purchase those kind of battery. How did he buy those with welfare checks? Unbelievable. We need to take this country back!!!!

    November 1, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cedar Rapids

      That is so scarily close to what some people will say. You hit just the right tone.

      November 1, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Haha, fantastic!

      November 4, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Qwerty

    It is a sign from above, the world may soon be coming to an end. Repent and be saved, heathens.

    November 1, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Averill

    Ladies and Gentlemen: We in the media ship cameras and lithium batteries ALL THE TIME. The airlines can't make up their collective minds on 'Do they want them in the cargo hold' or 'Do they want them in the cabin'....
    As a cameraman I have to deal with this issue all the time. But, it is a rare accident, and not one that should alarm the general population. In all the years and miles I've used these batteries, I know of no one that has had an issue. Until now.

    November 1, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lobelia

      Do you insulate the terminals of spare lithium batteries in checked baggage the way TSA advises?

      November 1, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Pips

    Sensationalism. It was a battery that exploded. You know, like a laptop or maybe even a AA battery..

    It happens. So now this is a headline BAG EXPLODES AT AIRPORT OH NOES THE MANATEES.

    November 1, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cedar Rapids

      The Huge Manatees!

      November 1, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Ol' Yeller

    If this would have happened during previous administration, the country would have been placed on double secret high red alert for 6 months and we'd have been told how we had been kept safe by our guvmint's quick response.
    Anyone who pointed out it was batteries would have been branded a traitor to the country and asked why they hated the troops.
    Damned liberal media....

    November 1, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • JetsJets

      I do miss being worried all the time. Ah the good ole days.

      November 1, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • ldean50

      . . . it would also have given us the reason we needed to bomb Iran.

      November 1, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  13. saywhat

    @ Bimbo the B Day Clown

    It may be an accident but no harm in crying Muslims. I'm sure that cry would be taken up eagerly by all and sundry.
    What is surprising is that our Attorney General or the FBI didn't get to a microfone quick enough to announce a 'thwarted' terror plot.

    November 1, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  14. JetsJets

    Wouldn't have been so funny if it exploded in mid air, now would it.

    November 1, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Well, yeah... kinda would be. Also, go Pats. Brady > Sanchez.

      November 4, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Lobelia

    TSA rule requires that spare lithium batteries have their ends capped off by tape or something like that, if I recall. It's long seemed to me that this rule is impossible to enforce, and that maybe spare batteries of any kind should be banned if they pose a danger. X-rays can locate batteries, but the bag has to be opened to determine whether they are properly stored.

    November 1, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • JetsJets

      Yeah no chance asking Americans to be more careful in their daily lives......

      November 1, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lobelia

      Actually, I'm not so sure it's a rule or requirement. It may just be a recommendation.

      Until now.

      November 1, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
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