When a carry-on bag started smoking last month at the Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport, quick action by a Transportation Security Administration officer kept passengers and screening equipment safe, a news release said.
Mark Howell, regional spokesman for the TSA, said on Thursday that a passenger at the security checkpoint July 20 called attention to the smoking bag.
The carry-on bag had been scanned and was waiting to be searched at the security checkpoint, he said.
Darrell Wade, a lead TSA officer, grabbed the bag and got it safely outside the terminal, according to the news release from the TSA.
Law enforcement officers were called and determined the bag contained a malfunctioning vape battery, the news release said.
“The battery caught fire, and the bag started smoking real quick,” Howell said, explaining that the heat melted a hole in the bottom of the bag.
The news release said that the checkpoint was able to remain open, and no one was injured.
Battery-powered e-cigarettes, vape pens and other such devices are allowed in carry-on bags but not checked luggage, the news release reminded flyers. The devices should be taken out of bags that are checked at the gate.