|Hundreds of passengers filled the Terminal C at Newark Liberty International Airport Sunday after a security breach. (Rich Schultz/ Associated Press)|
Man exited airport after breach
TSA confirms video of Newark checkpoint
NEWARK - A man who caused a security breach at Newark Liberty International Airport, causing major delays and grounding flights for six hours, left about 20 minutes after he walked the wrong way through a security checkpoint, the Transportation Security Administration said yesterday.
Someone picking up a passenger told an officer guarding the exit that he thought he saw a man enter through the doors Sunday, TSA spokeswoman Ann Davis said. TSA reviewed surveillance video before sweeping the airport, she said.
The video confirmed that the man had entered through the exit, and officials made passengers leave the terminal and be rescreened.
The video also showed the man leaving the terminal through another exit about 20 minutes later, Davis said, although it was unclear when authorities learned the man had left.
Authorities found nothing suspicious when they searched the terminal after evacuating passengers. They are still trying to determine the man’s identity.
Davis that the unidentified security officer in that section of the airport has been reassigned to nonscreening functions during the investigation.
Terminal C, where the security breach occurred, is used mostly by
Sarah Kornblet, 29, of Washington, was in Newark and just about to board her Continental flight to Mumbai when the security breach occurred. She said she had to leave the airport for about three hours and then go through security again. Her flight was repeatedly delayed.
“Newark airport was a mess. Not one single announcement was made, with these thousands of people waiting for hours,’’ Kornblet said. “We learned about it from watching CNN.’’
Tom Hiletch of New York City was trying to get to St. Thomas yesterday with his wife and toddler.
“When we got here this morning, there were thousands of people. Long, long lines, people delayed, people rerouted,’’ he said. “It was pretty frustrating.’’
At Oslo’s Gardermoen airport, a Continental flight to Newark that was scheduled to leave at 11 a.m. local time yesterday was delayed at least six hours. Passengers sat on suitcases and chatted as they waited in a check-in line that barely moved for 1 1/2 hours.
Ragnhild Belbo, 26, of Trondheim, Norway, was traveling to St. Paul with her 82-year-old grandmother to visit her brother, a student at St. Olaf College. She was disappointed to learn they would probably have to spend the night in Newark.
“It’s a bit hard to lose one day when you have one week only, and there could also be more delays,’’ Belbo said.