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Sunday, July 11, 2004 - Page updated at 12:00 a.m.
The Times collected 100 media reports of airport-security breaches since fall 2002, when TSA screeners took over. Screeners say that's a fraction of the incidents, and most are never disclosed.  View breaches by state:
Map of the United States: Click on a green state to read about breaches that occurred there Hawaii Washington Oregon California Nevada Arizona Colorado New Mexico Texas Arkansas Missouri Illinois Michigan Florida South Carolina North Carolina Virginia West Virginia Pennsylvania New York Massachusetts Connecticut Rhode Island New Jersey Maryland Indiana Kentucky Alabama Georgia New Hampshire Maine Utah Ohio
Airport Breach description
Seattle-Tacoma Int'l Airport, SeaTac A bag containing construction tools, including a hammer, was flagged for secondary screening. The X-ray screener called for assistance to take the bag and the female passenger away for the search. But the wrong bag was selected to search, and the woman passed through the security checkpoint with her bag. Three terminals were evacuated, causing long lines of passengers and flight delays. The woman and her tools were discovered the second time through security. [1/12/2003]
Source: Airport Security Report
Seattle-Tacoma Int'l Airport, SeaTac A passenger on a US Airways flight to Philadelphia used a 5-inch serrated knife to cut an apple. Two women were so shocked to see the knife that they took pictures. TSA officials, who said they learned about the incident from the media after the women contacted a Philadelphia TV station, would not say whether the woman with the knife had been identified. The women who photographed the knife did alert the airline, which promised to notify the TSA. [October 2003]
Source: KOMO 4 News
Seattle-Tacoma Int'l Airport, SeaTac A family walked through an unattended concourse metal detector and headed toward the gates. Within minutes, someone discovered the unstaffed lane. Airport spokesman Bob Parker said he discussed with TSA staff members whether to declare a breach, which would have meant the concourse would be shut down and passengers rescreened. Since the family was found quickly and seemed harmless, TSA supervisors chose not to declare a breach. Screeners nearby said the lane was unstaffed for five to 10 minutes, and more passengers may have gotten through. [7/14/2003]
Source: The Seattle Times
Seattle-Tacoma Int'l Airport, SeaTac Travelers were delayed for two hours at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport yesterday after an impatient passenger walked away from the screening area before he'd been fully searched, causing a security breach that forced the evacuation of a concourse. A 48-year-old Missouri man traveling to Kansas City went through the initial screening gate and was asked to step aside for a more thorough search. "It appears he just got impatient and walked off," said airport spokesman Bob Parker, adding that a security screener followed the man but lost sight of him. The evacuation delayed at least nine flights and inconvenienced thousands of travelers. [10/10/2002]
Source: The Seattle Times
Seattle-Tacoma Int'l Airport, SeaTac A baggage screener was discovered asleep at 6 a.m. at the exit from a station on the underground train system linking the terminals. The screener was sleeping for eight to 30 minutes. Four of the airport's five concourses were evacuated and searched with explosive-sniffing dogs. Nothing suspicious was found. The concourses reopened after about two hours. The screener was fired. [1/05/2003]
Source: Airport Security Report
Nine airports, various cities A businessman discovered a knife he had received as a gift had been in his bag since mid-August. He had traveled through nine different airports in that time and had twice been subjected to more extensive searches, without the knife being noticed by the TSA. The man had flown through Salt Lake City; Seattle; Burbank, Calif.; Portland; Los Angeles; Atlanta; Montreal; Paris; and Dusseldorf, Germany. [August-September 2003]
Source: NBC Nightly News

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