Panic at Ben Gurion Airport as family brings unexploded artillery shell

American family found the ordnance in the Golan and was bringing it home as a souvenir.

By David Hellerman, World Israel News

Panic broke out at Ben Gurion International Airport when an old unexploded piece of artillery was found in the luggage of an American family preparing to fly home with what it thought was a souvenir.

Ynet reported that the family showed the shell to an airport worker during the security check and asked if it could be put in a suitcase.

“When they arrived to check their luggage, they showed the piece of the shell to security,” the Israel Airports Authority said. “Since it was a piece of a shell, the evacuation of the area was announced.”

According to the Airports Authority, the family said it found the shell in the Golan and intended to bring it home as a souvenir. The Authority released a photo of the rusted shell.

Although passengers were instructed to slowly evacuate the departure hall, video posted on social media showed people scattering in panic, with some hiding under tables and behind columns for cover. One passenger trying to run across a luggage carousel fell off and required hospitalization.

Passengers were allowed to return to the departure hall after security officials gave an all-clear. The parents and children were interrogated and then allowed to board their flight home — without the souvenir.

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The Golan Heights was the scene of intense fighting during the Six Day War of 1967 and the Yom Kippur of 1973.

In January, the Defense Ministry detonated hundreds of kilograms of unused Syrian flares, pyrotechnic munitions, explosives, hunting rifle ammunition and other items discovered in a bunker during a mine-clearing operation.