Sunday, January 21, 2007

Security Scare In The Air

A scare in the skies, crew members find a security breach in the bathroom of a plane Saturday, while it was still in the air. The plane originated from the ST. Paul / Minneapolis. Sun Country's Flight 245 took off from the Twin Cities to New York's JFK Airport, where police greeted passengers with rifles. The flight departed around 6:40 a.m. The flight was calm until it landed around 10:00 a.m. EST. The plane then came to an abrupt stop on the tarmac. "There were no announcements over the intercom whatsoever and the longer that we sat there and the more activity that you could see out the plane's window, the more nervous everybody was getting," said Andy Lawyer, a passenger on the plane. "There were sharp shooters all around and everything." It turns out, the commotion was all over a broken security seal on the smoke detector in the airplane's bathroom."There's a piece of tape that goes on the smoke detector after it's inspected and if that seal is broken, it means someone tried to tamper with the smoke detector, and that's a security breach," said Shaun Nugent, CEO of Sun Country Airlines. Nugent confirmed that a crew member noticed the problem and contacted federal authorities. Federal authorities deplaned, screened and placed the passengers on a bus while investigators focused on one man. The man was held by security for an extended period of time, and was then released. No further action was taken. Sun Country officials say they have not been able to determine when the security tape on the smoke detector was broken. Nothing else on the plane was found out of place. The plane has been placed back in service. No arrests were made.