Officials Probe Security Breach at Atlanta Airport in Access Control Incident

A temporarily uncontrolled door allowed unauthorized persons to bypass security screenings.


Authorities are looking into how seven people were able to bypass security screening by walking through an unlocked door at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport early Friday.

Two of the people never were found, so all 50 passengers who were in the airport's T concourse at about 1:45 a.m. were rescreened through the main security checkpoint, said Christopher White, spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration.

The breach happened at 1:38 a.m. when the seven, which included a family of four, walked through a door on the south side of the main terminal to the T concourse, White said. A security screener saw at least one of them on the wrong side of the door and notified his bosses, who shut down the main checkpoint at 1:45 a.m. They reviewed a security tape to determine how many had gone through the door, said White.

"We don't think there's any malicious intent," said White.

The breach didn't cause any flight delays, and the security checkpoint re-opened at 4:15 a.m.

President Bush landed at the airport at midmorning, but his route didn't take him through the main terminal.

A year ago, airport and federal security officials held meetings to improve the security of airport doors after a man walked through a door onto the tarmac and drove a baggage tug down an active taxiway.

He was caught by aircraft mechanics in a Delta Air Lines maintenance hangar.

Airport Spokeswoman Felicia Browder said she didn't know why the door's alarm didn't sound, but that it may have been a problem with the alarm system.

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