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. BF

    The whole thing: very silly, Third Gradish!!

    November 1, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  2. ObamaJoe

    No better news ?

    November 1, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  3. ObamaJoe


    November 1, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • i_know_everything

      what are you so happy about, someone got injured

      November 1, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dave

    TSA, always creating problems where there weren't any before.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  5. BF

    Maybe that should be the terror alert system: 1st grade 2nd grade and so on, all the way up too Sophmoric!!

    November 1, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  6. abacusbrain

    TSA Halloween prank to get them more funding.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Pat

    A massive explosion taking out half of O'Hare Intl airport!!?
    the count is at 867 right now and climbing!!!! WHAT!!!!?

    November 1, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Ben

    Is this ANOTHER U.S. Attempt to start something? Sounds like it.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Scottish Mama

    Was it in a cake box?

    November 1, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  10. f16bmathis

    Isn't this how that jet over the Florida everglades went down?

    November 1, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • victim of democrat hypocrisy

      No. Those were oxygen canisters.

      November 1, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Durundal

    This is why we dont hire GED flunkies to grope our junk and handle our baggage. Curb the TSA nonsense

    November 1, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Dekkar

    This is why IATA has the TDG Air regulations. Batteries have to be packed in a certain way with the terminals isolated.
    They should be packed in accordance with Packing Instructions 965-970, and properly declared.

    The person that shipped them probably failed to do one or all of the above. I'm surprised the airport staff even let them through, unless they were unaware of the contents of the checked bag. I'm pretty sure it's a serious offense to fail to declare dangerous goods as outlined in TDG Air.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • FUNR

      Way way better for this to happen in pre-flight handling rather than in flight. There's no telling how many lives were in jeopardy because of the ignorance of the owner. Some battery technologies such as lithium are absolutely lethal, a resulting fire, either through improper packing or defective battery, cannot be extinguished by the usual means if at all. This is not something that should be left up to the unqualified. Some serious fines are in order.

      November 1, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Sammy

    Once I forgot a bit of coffee in my coffee travel mug. The TSA got the bomb-exploding robot out at 100,000 dollars tax-payer expense to explode my mug.

    Yet... they are not irrational... perfectly fine.. nothing to see here, move on.

    November 1, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  14. bspurloc

    OH EM GEE, a shorted battery caused a FIRE...... no wait explosion... give me a break with using FEAR words instead of what actually happened.......

    November 1, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  15. ba

    Explosion? Did the case go "poof" or "explode" (with a bang, shrapnel flying, window glass shattering)? Why does it say "checked bag exploded or combusted". Maybe the headline should say "Batteries give off smoke, TSA panics and CNN embelishes story"

    November 1, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
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