SALT LAKE CITY — The Transportation Security Administration shut down the baggage screen system at Salt Lake City International Airport last month after it found a suspicious item in some luggage.
TSA said that on Sept. 18 around 8 a.m., an explosive detection unit flagged an idea in some checked luggage and marked it as a possible security threat. Officers reviewed the image and saw what they believed to be a skull with “unidentifiable components inside” that looked like an explosive device.
Salt Lake City Police Airport Division was notified by TSA, who worked to investigate the item with an explosive detective canine. TSA said they got into contact with the traveler who was able to explain what the item was.
The suspicious item was a plastic skull that had a sensor and a 9-volt battery in it, KTVX reported.
The passenger said the skull was a medical training device for spine and neurosurgeons, according to the news outlet. It was used to instruct them how to do a lobotomy properly.
The passenger told TSA that he was transporting it to Cancun, Mexico, for a trade show.
“This incident and subsequent response is an example of how TSA must take every potential security threat seriously while making sure that the transportation system is not put at risk,” TSA Federal Security Director for Utah Matt Davis said in a statement. “I was pleased at the professionalism of everyone involved who worked closely to fully resolve the matter, to ensure that security was not compromised and to resume operations as quickly as possible.”
TSA said that the item was unable to travel on a commercial aircraft and that the passenger could pick it up when he returns to the airport.