01/21/2013 01:27 EST | Updated 01/21/2013 01:33 EST

Vancouver Transit Police Bomb Left On Plane During Training Exercise

Air Canada planes sit on the tarmac as many baggage handlers walked off the job at Pierre Trudeau airport Friday, March 23, 2012, in Montreal. A wildcat strike by Air Canada ground workers that started in Toronto and spread to other airports ended Friday, several hours after Canada's largest airline was forced to cancel more than two dozen flights. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Ryan Remiorz)

Transit Police in Metro Vancouver confirm that an officer left an explosive device on an Air Canada plane in 2011 during a training exercise and that it was never found again.

It took two days for someone to realize the device was missing after the dog-training exercise, according to documents obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers' Federation (CTF).

"Why on earth were Transit Police — responsible for SkyTrain lines — planting explosives on a commercial airplane as a dog-training exercise?" asked Jordan Bateman, CTF B.C. director, in a Monday news release.

Transit Police spokeswoman Anne Drennan said the officer left a "small sample" of explosive substance Semtex, which has been a "favoured weapon" for terrorists, according to the Christian Science Monitor.

The officer "didn't follow protocol," she told the Huffington Post B.C.

"Once he advised Transit Police, an investigation was initiated, the plane was searched numerous times with negative results," Drennan said.

One of the plane's cleaners said he spotted a "small vial" on one of the seats but left it for colleagues who were collecting garbage to pick it up, Drennan added.

Transit Police searched all the garbage they could locate and burned it "without further problems," but the device itself was never located.

Drennan noted that the substance was "inert," and that it "would have required other items before it could be used as an explosive." She said that lighting it on fire or hitting it with a hammer would not have made it explode.

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