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Los Angeles Terminal Evacuated

August 17, 1998

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ In the second such incident this month, 1,700 people were evacuated and 29 flights suspended Sunday when an X-ray machine detected what appeared to be a gun in a man’s luggage at Los Angeles International Airport.

The weapon later was found to be a gun-shaped cigarette lighter, said Bruce Nelson of the Federal Aviation Administration.

One of the terminals was evacuated for more than two hours after the item was spotted inside a bag. An agent stopped the wrong passenger, allowing the man with the suspicious bag to walk freely to the waiting area, said airport spokeswoman Nancy Castles.

Authorities cleared the terminal and halted all its flights during the search. Passengers aboard two full flights also were evacuated to make sure no weapons were brought on board, Ms. Castles said.

Officials located the man and released him after realizing he was carrying a cigarette lighter.

On Aug. 6, a woman was able to get a gun past security at the airport, prompting the evacuation of 4,500 people from the same terminal and delaying 35 flights.

Update hourly