TSA Myrtle Beach conducts explosives demonstration

People bring guns, knives and other prohibited items to airport security checkpoints everyday, but the single greatest threat to aviation security is an explosive device.

"We know that in some cases those explosives may be non-metallic items that would not sound an alarm at the walk through metal detector," Transportation Security Administration spokesman Jon Allen said.

To better understand the destruction explosives can cause, the TSA conducted a safety demonstration at Myrtle Beach International Airport Wednesday morning. It included the live detonation of explosives like C4 and dynamite, hidden inside common baggage, like a briefcase.

"It's a pretty big shock wave when you feel some of these go off. I mean, just standing a couple hundred feet away and using a very small amount, like less than an ounce, can do some big damage. You do this wrong there's no turning back," spectator Nick Slater said.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Horry County Police Department Bomb Squad as well as members of the public watched.

"It gives not only our TSA officers, but other partners, whether it's law enforcement or airport employees a chance to come out and witness first hand the power of the very types of items we're trying to keep off of aircraft," Allen said.

The demonstration reinforced the importance of advanced imaging technology in place at 90 airports across the country, including MYR, to detect the destructive explosives.

"If that's on a plane, the plane is gone," Slater said.