Hundreds of air passengers and staff were evacuated from a terminal at New York John F. Kennedy after a TSA employee failed to notice a metal detector had become unplugged at one of the security checkpoints.
The Transportation Security Administration closed JFK’s Terminal 7 for about two hours Saturday morning after discovering the equipment problem and realizing that people had been let through without being properly screened.
Procedures call for the entire terminal to be evacuated and the passengers re-checked.
Some travellers have posted photographs on Twitter showing the terminal lobby jammed with people waiting to get back in.
The stunning error led to hours of delays, two planes called back from the runway and infinite frustration for furious passengers. "The truth is, this is the failure of the most basic level of diligence," a law-enforcement source said. "How can you expect the public to feel confident of the mission of the TSA if they don't even know if the lights are turned on?"
The terminal is used by British Airways, United, and other airlines.