Grenade-shaped cigarette lighter shuts down Miami International Airport

Let’s just say the novelty has worn off.

A section of Miami International Airport was shut down early Thursday morning after a male passenger attempted to go through a security checkpoint with what appeared to be a grenade, but turned out to be a novelty cigarette lighter.

The Miami Dade police bomb squad was called shortly before dawn to Concourse D and determined that the camouflage-painted item was indeed a lighter.

“People do things sometimes without thinking,” Alvararo Zabaleta, spokesperson for the Miami Dade Police Dept. “This guy didn’t use much common sense.”
Miami International Airport spokesman Marc Henderson was a tad less charitable.

“I would like to know, 12 years after 9/11, why some people in the public still don’t seem to have gotten the memo that you don’t bring prohibited items or novelty items in the shape of weapons to the airport and expect to get them through TSA checkpoints?” Henderson told the Orlando Sentinel. “Even if the Boston marathon bombings had not happened, we’re vigilant at all times.”

The passenger, who police declined to identify, was not charged with any crime, but he did have his lighter confiscated.

While the incident disrupted activity at the terminal for approximately one hour, Zabaleta said that passengers should take some comfort in knowing that the system worked as it was intended.

“The security measures are working, and all the protocols were followed properly in this case,” Zabaleta told the News.

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