Device intercepted at O'Hare last week

November 7, 2011 3:51:11 PM PST
A live military trip flare was intercepted by federal agents checking outgoing mail at O'Hare last week.

The Vietnam-era device was capable of reaching a temperature of about 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

A Customs and Border Protection spokesperson says the device could have activated if someone had pulled the pin or if it had come out by itself if the package was shaken. He says discovering it avoided a potential "catastrophic event."

The item was being shipped from Missouri to Japan.