TSA agent screws up, causes evacuation and delays for NY travelers

Holly Bensur Contributor
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The Transportation Security Administration’s job is to keep air travel safe, especially at one of the nation’s busiest airports, right?

Security at John F. Kennedy Airport made a serious mistake Sunday when an agent had no idea his metal detector was unplugged, the New York Post reports.

The slipup forced hundreds of aggravated passengers from Terminal 7 to go back though security screenings. Two planes were also called back from the runway, causing hours of delays.

The culprit of the massive error was Alija Abdul Majed, a TSA agent assigned to Lane No. 1 for the morning shift. Majed didn’t realize his detector was not functioning properly — even though the alert light did not flash once during his shift.

When police asked Majed how long or how the machine had been unplugged, the agent could not remember.

TSA superiors realized the problem at 9:44 a.m., which left the Port Authority no other option but to evacuate the entire international terminal.

The TSA released a statement saying the machine had experienced a “malfunction,” and neglected to confirm or deny whether it had been unplugged.

PA officials did not reopen Terminal 7 until 11:45 a.m., delaying eight to ten flights.

A PA source said whoever caused the malfunction was long gone and there was no way to be sure that every passenger who passed through the powerless detector was accounted for and hadn’t gotten on a flight.

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