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U. S. Customs and Border Protection says ‘mock improvised explosive device’ caused delay of flight

April 6, 2017
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A 58-year-old American man has been charged with mischief after U. S. Customs and Border Protection says a “mock improvised explosive device” was found during the inspection of a traveller’s suitcase at Pearson International Airport on Thursday. 

The incident resulted in a Chicago-bound flight being held on the tarmac for more than four hours.

In a statement, U. S. Customs and Border Protection says the device was found during an inspection at the “Toronto Preclearance Facility” at the airport.

After it was discovered, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers notified the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, who tested the device and determined that it was not explosive.

Meanwhile, U.S. Customs and Border Protection “conducted a joint inspection of the aircraft, rescreening all travelers and baggage.”

Operations have since resumed.

Police confirmed to CP24 Thursday that the man accused in the incident will be held for a bail hearing.

Officials previously said that they were investigating a “major security breach” involving a Chicago-bound flight plane that had its pre-clearance privileges revoked.

United Flight 547 was scheduled to depart at 7 a.m. but was held at the gate until around 10:30 a.m., at which point passengers disembarked and got onto a number of buses bound for a secondary site.

In a video that was taken around 9 a.m. and obtained by CP24, an airline official can be heard telling passengers that the “pre-clearance privileges” for passengers to enter the United States had been revoked.

The official said that the plane would taxi to an “isolation area,” at which point passengers would have to obtain their luggage and then be “searched and screened.”

At that point, the official said that passengers will have to clear Canadian customs and go through U.S. customs again.

“Ladies and gentleman, this is a major breach of security regarding this airplane and this flight,” the official said. “We will see you at the check-in area as soon as possible. We do apologize once again.”

The official told passengers that they would be met at the isolation area by officials from U.S. and Canadian customs, police, and the Greater Toronto Airports Authority.

The official said that passengers would have to identify all of their luggage, including everything they have brought on board or checked.

“You will be searched and screened at this isolation area and from there you will be brought back to the main building with your luggage,” he said.

For most of the morning, the exact nature of the security breach remained unknown.

Speaking with CP24 while the situation was ongoing, a passenger said that most people on the plane seem to be more “frustrated” than anything.

The passenger, however, said that it is “nerve-racking” to know that the plane has been held up for a security-related issue.

“It is a little nerve-wracking because the plan has changed several times,” Troy Galick said. “Originally we got on the plane at 6:30 a.m. this morning and we were told it was about an hour delay. Then we got an announcement that there was a security issue they were looking into. Then there was another announcement 15 or 20 minutes after that saying that we would be towed to a quarantine area and an hour after that there was another announcement saying that they were waiting for police to show up with K9 to search the plane.”

Galick was supposed to catch a connecting flight to Tampa Bay from Chicago at around 9 a.m. but has now missed that flight. He said that he has tickets to a Blue Jays game in Tampa Bay tonight but is now concerned he will not make it in time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Article source: http://www.cp24.com/news/u-s-customs-and-border-protection-says-mock-improvised-explosive-device-caused-delay-of-flight-1.3357185

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