T.S.A. Says Screening Missteps Allowed Box Cutters on Flight
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HOUSTON — While U.S. Airways was already reeling from the latest terrorist attack in this country, it is also facing a second attack of another kind. But this one is by the screening process.
The U.S. Transportation Security Administration says screening errors led to the screening of a box cutter in security screening in the cabin on a United Airlines flight headed to Boston.
The plane then deviated from its scheduled route, and the device was discovered in the lavatory after the flight arrived in Boston.
United said the passengers on the flight were asked to remove their shoes before getting on board to de-escalate the situation. All those who refuse to remove their shoes and shoes that they do remove are placed in the lavatory on that flight.
In a statement, United said, “It is impossible to know how it would have been handled if the device had not inadvertently been discovered during screening. However, it is important to remember that this is another tragic example of the need to enhance our ability to prevent acts of terror.”
A video posted online shows a box-cutter-like device being held at arm’s length as passengers try to prevent the device from being touched. Officials say the security screening procedure was too strict and the device was not properly screened.
At least 1,000 passengers were on the flight at 8:30 a.m. Monday, but security officials said none of them were harmed by the device.
A man and two women were arrested on Monday on charges of conspiracy for trying to bring the device onto an airplane.
The box cutter was left in the lavatory on Sunday night, after passengers objected over safety measures being taken as a precaution on the flight from Detroit to Boston. TSA said the box cutter was discovered after United officials, alerted by members of the flight crew about the security issue, had questioned passengers who had