PUBLISHED: 18:24 EST, 27 April 2012 | UPDATED: 19:30 EST, 27 April 2012
Baby on board!
Passengers at Newark Airport were delayed for hours on Friday when the Port Authority evacuated a terminal because of an unscreened infant.
The Transportation Security Administration said that the parents of the infant passed the child back and forth through the metal detector, causing alarms go off.
When TSA agents realized that the baby got away without an individual screening, they started a desperate search for the family to no avail.
‘At about 1:30 p.m. today at Newark Liberty International Airport’s C-1 Terminal Checkpoint, and incident occurred where an infant was not properly screened before passing through security,’ TSA spokeswoman Ann Davis told the Mail Online.
The C-1 terminal is a busy United Airlines checkpoint and Ms Davis described the incident as innocent enough.
First, the baby’s father went through the metal detector.
Then, the mother went through the metal detector with the baby in tow and the alarm went off.
The mother handed off the babe to the father, passed through the detector without incident, and the family went off to their gate without having the baby properly screened.
Shortly thereafter, the TSA realized their mistake and started searching for the family.
Shutdown: Port Authority police shut down the terminal, swept for explosives and re-screened every passenger, though the family was never found
‘Since the baby was not properly screened, TSA officers began to look for the family in the secure area of the terminal,’ Ms Davis said.
‘Per protocol, TSA also notified Port Authority Police of the situation.’
TSA sources said that they classified the situation as low-risk, but Port Authority Police went against their recommendation and evacuated the entire terminal.
Port Authority Police swept the terminal for explosives and re-screened all of the passengers, causing massive delays, according to CBS.
The family was never found and officials believe they had already taken off by the time the search was mounted.
The Port Authority defended their decision to look for the three passengers, telling CBS that no security breach is a minor issue.
The terminal re-opened at 2:50 p.m.