Second Time In 2008 A Knife Has Slipped Through The Cracks
Christine Sloan NEWARK, N.J. (CBS) ? Transportation Security Administration officials confirmed Tuesday that a passenger accidentally took a knife through a security checkpoint inside a Newark Liberty International Airport terminal without being detected last week.
It's the second time in 2008 that a knife went undetected through security at the airport.
The incident happened last Thursday inside Terminal C. Passengers were stunned to learn of the news.
"It concerns me especially since we go through so much just to get through security," said Beverly Wright, an airline passenger traveling through the airport Tuesday. "That a knife goes through, that's very surprising."
In fact, Wright, a frequent traveler, said she has never been able to get any banned items through security.
"They catch everything I have from fingernail polish to water, but they can't catch a knife?" she said.
It turns out that TSA screeners only found out about the breach when the passenger realized what had happened, came back, and turned the knife over to a Continental Airlines employee.
Late Tuesday afternoon, a TSA spokesman told CBS 2:
"Explosives remain the most significant threat to aviation. We will investigate this incident and take the necessary steps to ensure the continued safety and security of the traveling public."
Still, passengers believe the breach proves that security still isn't tough enough at airports.
"I think it's terrible that you can bring that stuff through. Something needs to be done," said passenger Anne Craig.
TSA officials said their employees, who have to be U.S. citizens or nationals, go through intense training and must have a year's experience in the field of security. One job posting CBS 2 found indicated screeners make between $24,000 and $36,000 a year.
Officials said the workers who missed the knife may have to be retrained.
"I sometimes wonder how well trained they are," said Craig.
The passenger involved in the incident was allowed to fly out of the airport after turning in the knife. Officials said the breach is under investigation.
In January, TSA officials also confirmed that a passenger had gotten through security with a knife. In that case, it was a diver's knife. Officials would not say what kind of knife made it past screeners on Thursday.