NEWARK, NEW JERSEY – Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials say United Airlines checkpoint operations at Terminal C at Newark Liberty International Airport were shut down Sunday after TSA and local authorities tried to find a passenger that wasn’t fully screened.
The Terminal C shutdown threw vacation plans and flight connections into chaos. Law enforcement sources told Fox 5 News there wasn’t just one close call here – there were two and both had to do with potential bomb making materials.
The lines were long and frustration was high at Newark Airport after the incidents. The TSA says a woman who set off an alarm managed to get past a screening point and onto a flight to Cleveland without being checked for what caused the alarm.
The TSA says it notified the Port Authority Police after the incident. The Port Authority says every single passenger had to be re-screened.
Law enforcement sources told Fox 5 News what officials left out of their public statements – that the woman had tested positive for residue of possible explosive material on her hands, and slipped away from the TSA before she could be thoroughly screened.
About two hours earlier there was another incident that was detailed in a report obtained exclusively by Fox 5 News. Sources say a positive explosives alert it was generated by an oversized checked bag that set off an alarm for possible explosives material.
The bag went missing for about 45 minutes. The TSA says the bag was eventually found and the Essex County Bomb Squad determined it was not a threat.
But the snafu started a very tough day for travelers.
Port Authority Police had to assist with crowd control while TSA agents contended with long lines of passengers waiting to get on their flights.
United Airlines says after the three hour shutdown, flights resumed and they were able to accommodate most passengers.