- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 28, 2003

BOSTON, Jan. 28 (UPI) — Authorities allowed a United Airlines flight to take off from Boston late Tuesday after the discovery of a box cutter forced the plane to be grounded and all passengers to be rescreened.

Flight 179 took off for San Francisco from Logan International Airport about three hours after its scheduled departure time after a search turned up no other banned items.

Officials said passengers were in the process of loading when one found the standard carpenter's box cutter in the magazine rack in the back of the seat in front of her in the first class section of the Boeing 757.

A security breach was declared, the plane was grounded, and all 76 passengers were ordered off. They and their luggage had to be rescreened. The plane also carried a crew of six.

"We're investigating, of course. We're speaking with the airport where it took off from, we're talking to the caterer, talking to the folks who had access to the plane here, but to this point have no idea" how the potential weapon got on the aircraft, said George Nacarra of the Transportation and Security Administration.

The flight had originated in Denver and arrived in Boston around 1 p.m. ET. It was scheduled to depart at 3:30 p.m., and the TSA eventually cleared it leave Boston just before 6:30 p.m. after nothing more suspicious was found.

There were no arrests, and no immediate indication the incident was linked to terrorism.


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