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.
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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.