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Security training is important but it pays to remove the training explosives at the end of an exercise.   Canadian Transit police who were using explosives to train bomb-sniffing dogs left one of the bombs aboard an Air Canada 767 that later took off on a commercial flight carrying passengers.  A taxpayers group reported the event this week.

The incident spurred a discussion about using simulated materials instead of real explosives. Such simulated materials are offered by Israeli companies.

Although the incident actually occurred about two years ago, in January 2011, it was only confirmed after members of the taxpayers group filed a Freedom of Information request.  According to background information on the incident, a dog handler noticed the device was missing two days after the training session, and filed a report.  Air Canada inspected the airplane 14 times, but the bomb was never found. It was believed to have been tossed out with the trash.  According to a police report, the explosive material was inert as it was missing an explosive booster, “i.e., a blasting cap.”

A Canadian activist in the taxpayers’ federation told the local press that this incident is a chilling reminder of what happens when police agencies push past their level of expertise and jurisdiction.” The taxpayers group has long been critical of the Transit Police, saying its officers are overpaid and ineffective.