As the holiday travel season approaches, airport safety is at the top of everyone’s mind. Earlier this month, a suitcase on its way from Washington, D.C. exploded at O’Hare and injured an airline employee. In a report at chicagoist.com, there was an industrial battery packed inside the luggage, which accidentally discharged.
Emergency personnel, including a HazMat unit, responded to the battery explosion around 10:30 a.m. on November 1. An airline employee suffered burns to his arm in the incident. According to the report, the explosion was a Level 1 HazMat situation, which is one that involves a gas, liquid or spill that poses a minimal risk to the public. Authorities questioned the battery’s owner and later released him.
The report did not say how the piece of luggage with a battery inside made it past airport security. Most travelers know that airlines prohibit anything flammable or explosive from carry-on or checked luggage. The smaller batteries used in consumer electronics are allowed on airplanes. Federal regulations normally prohibit the type of battery involved in the above explosion, except if it is part of a passenger’s wheelchair.
Are potential incidents like this on your mind as you travel this holiday season?
Approved by attorney Kelly Fisher