Vietnam probes TNT on flight from Paris
Vietnam is investigating the discovery of explosive TNT and a gun among the checked baggage of a passenger on a flight from France, a Vietnam Airlines official said Thursday.
Authorities found 500 grams (1.1 pounds) of TNT, a hunting rifle and ammunition in the luggage of a Laotian man who arrived in Hanoi Tuesday from Paris, Pham Viet Thanh, a senior official with the carrier, told AFP.
Thanh said local transport ministry officials have been informed and they would be in touch with authorities at Charles de Gaulle airport, where the man boarded the flight.
Tuoi Tre newspaper reported the unidentified Laotian, who was in transit to his homeland, was allowed to continue his journey on Wednesday.
The Lao embassy in Hanoi dismissed the incident and denied any weapons or explosives were involved.
"In fact, it's no problem," a Laotian official said. "Nothing dangerous."
Many airlines permit firearms to be transported as checked baggage but ban explosives in all luggage.
Experts say TNT requires a detonator in order to explode.
Determining whether or not the materials posed a danger to Vietnam Airlines "depends on the results of an inquiry by the country's aviation authorities", Thanh said.
"The case is presently being examined and we are waiting for a final conclusion by relevant Vietnamese agencies," added Le Hoang Dung, the airline's spokesman.
© 2011 AFP