Local News

‘Security breach’ at Sea-Tac led to long lines at airport Tuesday night

SEATTLE — A security breach at Sea-Tac International Airport Tuesday night prompted the evacuation of two concourses and led to a backup of up to 1,500 passengers who had to be re-screened.

The B and C concourses were evacuated after, according to a TSA officer, an unauthorized person got past security. An airport spokesman later said the man walked past security by mistake.

At about 7:30 p.m., “an individual went through an exit lane and entered the sterile area of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport,” a TSA statement said. “TSA officials and members of the Port of Seattle Police Department immediately began a search for the individual and located him just prior to 9 p.m.

“Security and law enforcement authorities evacuated portions of the airport terminal, requiring passengers to be re-screened.  Normal security checkpoint operations resumed at approximately 9:20 p.m.   The circumstances surrounding this incident are under review,” the statement said.

seatac3About 1,000 to 1,500 passengers had to be re-screened, airport spokesman Perry Cooper said. That led to a huge passenger backup at the airport.

“Most airlines are doing their best to accommodate passengers,” Cooper said.

The Port of Seattle issued this statement: “A breach in the central terminal at Sea-Tac Airport caused concourses B & C to be evacuated. all passengers were re-screened. Issues resolved.”

VIEW & ADD COMMENTS

20 Comments to “‘Security breach’ at Sea-Tac led to long lines at airport Tuesday night”

    Bill Fisher said:
    March 20, 2013 at 3:19 AM

    Typical TSA incompetence. This makes nearly 100 failures in the past 27 months. At least this one wasn't at Newark which holds the record for TSA failures.

    This agency really needs to be replaced with local law enforcement before they destroy the airline industry or even worse, get a lot of people killed.

      Ashlee said:
      March 20, 2013 at 4:16 PM

      What other issues have happened? The incompetence of local authorities would be worse.

    james dean said:
    March 20, 2013 at 4:37 AM

    Mr. Fisher try to keep this in mind if you can but I’m sure you can’t or won’t. TSA, just like all other Government Agencies is nothing more than a reflection of our society. It doesn’t matter what level of Government, be it Federal, State or Local it’s all the same, we are them and they are us. Check out these sites below, for some of the outstanding citizens we have put in office and their wrong doing. The only reason TSA is an easy target is because it is the agency that has the most face time with the public. There are bad cops, firefighters, soldiers, road crews, judges, doctors, and the list just goes on and on. So instead of sitting on your backside complaining, why don’t you really do something about airport security that will make it better. I know you can get a job with TSA and change it from the inside. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_American_stahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_federal_polihttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_State

      Ashlee said:
      March 20, 2013 at 4:18 PM

      Best. Colmment. Ever.

    Dapandico said:
    March 20, 2013 at 5:54 AM

    TSA didn't blame the sequester for causing the breach?

    EricB said:
    March 25, 2013 at 7:08 PM

    As someone who was caught up in this mess, it annoys me how much the airport and the press has downplayed the incident. The backup was not cleared by 10:30. Common sense would tell you that you can't dump 1500 people back out of the secured area and get them rescreened in a hour.

    The real problem here was that TSA was playing this by ear and seemed to have no idea of how to handle the situation. We were told to go here, then here, then here and finally, after about an hour, they pushed us out of the secured area. We then asked what we were supposed to do next and no one seemed to know. But I was assured several times that my plane would not leave without me. But of course it did leave as I was still trying to get back through security.

    Come on, reporters! Dig a little deeper next time! Don't just take TSA and the airport's word for what happened!

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