A passenger's decision to pack a pair of novelty hand grenades in his luggage turned out to be anything but a joke Tuesday morning when they showed up during the baggage screening process at the Prince George Airport.
Unsure if they were the real thing, security workers raised the alert and emergency personnel were called in at about 8:20 a.m. RCMP officers converged on the scene while Prince George Fire Rescue also responded and B.C. Ambulance was put on standby.
By shortly before 9 a.m. it was determined the items were actually a pair of grinders, used for tobacco or marijuana, in the shape of grenades and the airport was reopened. A 44-year-old man was detained and questioned but since released although police confiscated the grinders.
"Obviously, it was not a good decision that was made here today," RCMP Cpl. Craig Douglass said as he showed the items to local media at the airport.
The man was apparently cooperative with police and airport security.
"Certainly, if he handled it worse, he wouldn't be carrying on with his travel today," Douglass said.
No charges will be pursued because the man meant no harm but if it happens again it will be a different story, Douglass said.
The man's name and home town were not provided.
Flights were delayed roughly 10 to 30 minutes as a result. There was one flight cancellation Tuesday morning but it was not related to the incident.
Airport spokeswoman Lindsay Cotter commended the other passengers and members of the public for the way they responded.
"Everyone followed the rules," Cotter said.
It's not the first time something like this has happened. In December 2011, a similar item was found in a passenger's luggage and the airport was briefly evacuated. Police spoke to the passenger responsible for the item, who was then allowed to board the flight.
"Obviously, replica weapons or explosive devices are going to be scanned and brought forward as something not allowed on the plane," Cotter said. "So people should just leave those at home."
Information on what can be taken on a flight is found at www.catsa.gc.ca.