Chicago-Bound Flight Grounded After Mock IED Found in Suitcase

The mock device was found during an inspection of the suitcase at the Toronto Preclearance Facility.

A United Airlines flight to Chicago was held Thursday morning at Toronto's Pearson Airport after a mock Improvised Explosive Device was discovered inside a traveler’s suitcase, a U. S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman said.

The mock device was found during an inspection of the suitcase by U.S. CBP at the Toronto Preclearance Facility.

The traveler was scheduled on United Airlines Flight 547 to Chicago O’Hare International Airport, according to officials. Passengers on the flight were held at the gate during testing of the device. 

Canadian Air Transport Security Authority swabbed the mock IED for explosives and ultimately received a negative result. 

Dal Gemmell, a passenger on the flight, tweeted that he and other travelers waited on the plane for four hours before they were asked to deplane and wait in an isolation area.

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"It made us kind of nervous because they were saying there was a security breach but we were sitting on the plane," passenger Zachary Brincheski told NBC 5. 

A United spokesperson said customers were held while authorities determined where to do background screenings. They were late moved to a separate aircraft, which left Toronto at 4 p.m. local time. 

 U.S. CBP said normal operations have since resumed.

"CBP conducted a joint inspection of the aircraft, rescreening all travelers and baggage," a U.S. CBP spokesman said in a statement.

Toronto news outlets reported 58-year-old American man has since been charged.

"Even though we spent a lot of time on there I said, 'At least the officials were working for our safety,'" Brincheski said. "That's the only thing I think about."

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