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Grenade-shaped lighter causes partial evacuation of Miami airport

By Douglas Hanks
dhanks@maimiherald.com

MIAMI A novelty lighter that looked like a grenade caused a major disruption at Miami International Airport Thursday morning when police evacuated a security checkpoint to make sure the fake weapon wasn't real, authorities said.

Shortly after 5 a.m., police reported finding a suspicious package at one of MIA's busiest security checkpoints.

Traffic backed up into MIA as police swarmed Terminal D and guards cleared the area, forcing travelers to cram into other checkpoints serving the part of the airport that houses American Airlines. By 7:30 am, Checkpoint Three was reopened and operations at the airport began returning to normal.

Greg Chin, an MIA spokesman, said he was told the suspicious package was a cigarette lighter that looked like a grenade.

The passenger traveling with the lighter will not be charged, NBC 6 reported.

Shortly after the checkpoint reopened, Chin sent out a message to media that said in part: "Please advise your readers and viewers to not travel with novelty items that look like weapons."

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