One of the keys to running a successful test of a TSA agent’s ability to detect a bomb in a traveler’s suitcase is to give the heads-up to the authorities that a drill is being run. That way, when — or rather if — the screener finds the device in question, their call to the police won’t have the cops drawing their guns in the middle of an airport.
And yet, that’s exactly what happened last week at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
An eagle-eyed screener at security checkpoint 2 noticed what appeared to be a bomb in a passenger’s carry-on bag. Following procedure, they immediately notified authorities. But because the police hadn’t been alerted to the TSA drill, they evacuated the areas around the checkpoint and circled the traveler with their guns drawn.
“I think a lot of people were alarmed,” a spokesman for the Metropolitan Airport Commission tells the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “There is always a danger that someone could have gotten hurt. It was unfortunate.”
Luckily, TSA officials who were aware of the test were able to defuse the situation. A rep for the agency tells the Star-Tribune that the problem can all be chalked up to a “miscommunication.”
Considering TSA agents’ general lack of success in these sorts of tests, we’re just glad the screener actually identified the fake bomb.
Oops. Bomb at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport was only a drill [StarTribune.com via CBSlocal.com]