Australia's Federal Police force has apologised for leaving explosives in a suitcase at an airport.
The force says the explosives – all 230 grams of them – were a “canine training device” inadvertently left in a suitcase used during a training exercise at Sydney Airport.
The suitcase was then forgotten but eventually “a woman travelling through Sydney Airport was offered a replacement suitcase after her own bag was damaged during her flight.”
When the woman returned home to the country town of Cessnock, she noticed the explosives and turned the bag in to the local police who promptly evacuated the station.
The force isn't saying how it managed to lose the bag, but has let it be known that "the canine instructor who inadvertently left this device behind has been identified and will be the subject of a formal Professional Standards Investigation".
The force has also defended the fact that it takes explosives to airports, saying the public was never in danger and that: “This type of training is essential for our canine teams, allowing the dogs to experience potential threats in a real environment.” ®
Bootnote The Australian Federal Police issued the apology for this incident on Thursday. On Friday Australia raised its terror alert level from Medium to High, indicating a terror attack is now considered "likely". Among the measures than come into force with the change is increased security at airport.
You can't make this stuff up.