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Vape pen incident prompts evacuation at DIA

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Posted at 3:35 PM, Apr 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-05 17:36:10-04

DENVER — Authorities are blaming a malfunctioning vape pen for causing yet another security incident at Denver International Airport Friday afternoon.

Around 1:45 p.m., a passenger’s vape pen began smoking while the passenger was in line at the north security checkpoint in the main terminal, according to DIA spokesperson Emily Williams.

The smoking pen inside the passenger’s bag forced authorities to evacuate the north checkpoint area and interrupted the concourse train for about 15 minutes, Williams said.

She said agents quickly determined there was no criminal intent, and the passenger was allowed to continue into the concourse. It’s not clear if the device caught fire or exploded.

This is at least the second security incident involving an electronic cigarette at DIA in the past 13 months.

In January of last year, a passenger’s unassembled vaping device inside a travel bag caught fire while the bag was being passed through a TSA X-ray machine in the south checkpoint. The fire sent hundreds of passengers and TSA agents running.

The FAA prohibits electronic cigarettes and vaping devices in checked bags, but the agency does allow the devices to be carried in a carry-on bag. However, many airlines have policies regarding the possession or use of these devices onboard aircraft.