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Suspect claims dry ice bombs planted at Los Angeles airport were a prank

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A 28-year-old airport employee accused of setting off two dry ice bombs at Los Angeles International Airport apparently meant them as a prank, but would still face prosecution, police said on Wednesday.

Dicarlo Bennett, a baggage handler for Servisair, was arrested at his Los Angeles-area home on Tuesday evening for possessing a destructive device near an aircraft.

He was being held on $1 million bail with an initial court appearance scheduled for Thursday.

One of the bombs detonated on Sunday evening in an employee restroom and the second exploded on Monday outside the Tom Bradley International Terminal, causing some flight disruptions. An unexploded device was found later that night.

Authorities have said there were no connections to terrorism in the case and during a press conference on Wednesday police officials said Bennett intended the ice bombs as a prank.

"We take this particular incident, which some people might consider a prank - kids have been building dry ice bombs for years - but it's not a prank and it's going to be dealt with very seriously," Los Angeles Airport Police Chief Patrick Gannon told reporters.

A dry ice bomb is typically made by putting the dry ice into a bottle or other container and sealing it tightly, which allows pressure to build until it explodes.

Bennett allegedly obtained the dry ice from his job at the airport, prompting officials there to announce that they would change policies regarding handling of the materials.

(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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