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Wed, May 02, 2012

Newark Terminal Closes For Over An Hour On Friday

Security Breach Triggered By Improper Screening Of Baby

On Friday a terminal at Newark’s Liberty International Airport was shut down for over an hour over a security breach involving a baby. TSA officials reported that a baby traveling with its parents had not been properly screened after the parents went through the checkpoint. Around 1315 EDT, Terminal C was evacuated and passengers had to return to security checkpoints for re-screening.

Lisa Farbstein, a spokeswoman for the TSA told USA Today a mother and baby went through a metal detector when the machine sounded an alarm. The mother then handed the child to the father who had been screened previously. The mother then was cleared, but the child had not been properly screened when the parents left the checkpoint with the child and headed to their gate. As per protocol, TSA officers searched for the family in the terminal’s secure area and then notified Port Authority police emphasizing it was a low-risk situation. The TSA had recommended against evacuating the terminal to the Port Authority police because that evaluation.

Port Authority spokesman Steve Coleman said it took over 30 minutes for the TSA to alert police of the security breach, and that officers “took immediate action to make sure the breach did not endanger passengers of our facility. We’re not going to second-guess a real-time decision made by our police department to err on the side of caution and protect passenger safety.” The terminal and checkpoint were closed from 1330-1450 EDT while the situation was sorted out.

FMI: www.panynj.gov

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