TSA Explosives Detector Finds Something Fishy: Nearly 240 Things in Fact

By Edwin Mora | September 16, 2011 | 11:47 AM EDT

These gold fish are not the fish found in a man's luggage at LAX on Sept. 14, 2011. (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - A Transportation Security Administration explosives detection system at the Los Angeles International Airport detected something fishy in the baggage of a person trying to board a commercial flight on Wednesday. In fact, the potential threat turned out to be “nearly 240 fish of all types and sizes” that the passenger had packed in suitcases.

“After going into the luggage, they found live fish swimming around in a bag,” wrote TSA Blogger Bob Burns, the agency’s Social Media Analyst with the Office of Strategic Communications and Public Affairs.

“The passenger didn’t have a little baggie with a goldfish in it, they had 4 large hard-sided suitcases each filled with only fish and water,” Burns said. “In all, there were nearly 240 fish of all types and sizes.”

“The passenger bought the fish at a local pet store and was taking them home,” Burns said. “The airline would not allow him to transport the fish via checked luggage, but they did allow him to ship them properly via cargo.”

Burns said the passenger had been “schooled” on how to transport the fish with out any problems.

“I’m guessing things went swimmingly for the fish from that point forward?  If you’re traveling with any type of live critter, (other than your kids) be sure to contact your airline to see what their policies are,” said Burns.

According to TSA, the explosive detection system that discovered the fish uses imaging technology “to quickly determine if a bag contains a potential threat or not”--much like a doctor uses an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) to examine internal elements of a person’s body and indentify problems.

TSA is a component of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

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