Police: Employee set dry ice blasts at LAX

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Police believe two dry ice explosions at Los Angeles International Airport were triggered by a disgruntled employee and were not an act of terror.

Deputy Chief Michael Downing says the bombs made by putting dry ice in 20-ounce bottles could have caused serious injury to anyone in close proximity, according to the Associated Press, though no one was hurt. Police are treating them as seriously as if they were pipe bombs.

Police have no specific suspect yet but believe the explosions were part of a labor dispute.

"I really don't know if we have clear video of the suspects, or suspect, or not right now," LAPD Commander Blake Chow told reporters Tuesday. "We'll probably know that later on today." Chow added, "We don't necessarily need a camera to identify a suspect. We can use witnesses and all the other investigative tools that they have."

Downing says they're not treating the incident as terrorism because no innocent civilians were targeted, the AP reports.

"There's no link to any terrorism at this point," Chow said. "Right now, the devices have been in secure areas and not where the public is." Chow said police were focusing on that aspect, looking at who had access to those areas rather than considering possibilities around someone bringing in a device from the outside and leaving it in a public area.

Travelers are seeing increased security. "As we know, LAX has been one of the top terrorist targets," Chow said. "And actually it was on somebody's target list around the millennium, if you remember."

Early Tuesday morning, L.A. Airport Police Officer Robert Corchado guided his bomb sniffing dog near the area.

"On high alert, we're doing what we usually do. We're just more exposed today just because of what's been going on and making people feel more secure," Corchado told KPCC.

Elizabeth Reyes learned of both explosions as she dropped off her friend Jake Ryder who was catching a flight to England.

"I guess it's a little scary but I haven't heard much," Reyes told KPCC. "Everybody's been OK so far.

One device exploded in an employee men's room Sunday. An exploded bottle was found that night on the tarmac near the international terminal, but an employee threw it away. The same employee found an unexploded bottle Monday evening and then reported his earlier find.

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