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Kiss That Shut Down Newark NJ International Airport

The Mail, London has posted a video of man  wreaking havoc on security at the Newarh, New Jersey international airport in the US on Sunday, as he dashed through security for one last kiss of
PTI January 11, 2010 0:19 IST

The Mail, London has posted a video of man  wreaking havoc on security at the Newarh, New Jersey international airport in the US on Sunday, as he dashed through security for one last kiss of a woman who was leaving on a jet plane.

The video shows the woman  leaving on a jet plane. Man realises love for woman at the very last moment. Man wreaks havoc in frantic dash to reach woman before she gets on plane, sprinting through security for one last kiss. Couple walk off screen hand in hand into the happy-ever-after.

Except in this case it had the very unromantic consequence of causing a security scare that shut down a major international airport and left thousands of passengers stranded for hours.

For, as video evidence has shown, it appears to have been a goodbye kiss that caused a man to slip through security at the Newark, New Jersey airport last Sunday.

The couple turn their faces to the camera as they walk away

In a still from earlier in the video, the TSA official is seeng leaving his post at the security desk - giving the nameless Romeo, still offscreen, his chance to slip into the secure area

There are two versions of the video - a long, full version, which shows the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer abandoning his post; and a shorter version which just shows the kiss,  below.

In the long version, theTSA officer is seen apparently asking the man to move away from the security cordons that guide arriving passengers out of the secure area and into the concourse.

The video then shows the TSA officer leaving his desk and walking toward the airport concourse.

As the short version of the video below shows, the nameless Romeo clearly saw the moment as an opportunity.

He slips underneath a security cordon to meet a departing female passenger clad in a white coat o who had already passed through a security checkpoint.

The man gives her what appears to be a goodbye kiss, the video showed.

The couple, who remain unidentified, then walk off screen hand-in-hand against the flow of passengers.

It is unclear if the woman got on to the plane. Some reports quoted witnesses who said they had spotted the man leaving the airport shortly after the incident, but it was unclear if the woman was with him.

The TSA officer, who has since been placed on administrative leave, returned moments later - but the damage had been done.

The airport was promptly shut down and thousands of passengers left stranded for hours after the security scare

Other witnesses who saw the man slip through the checkpoint had grown concerned and spoke to authorities, sparking a security clampdown that closed the airport for hours.

Thousands of passengers had to go through security screening again.

The breach at Newark Liberty International Airport, one of three major airports serving the New York City area, rattled security officials so much because it came so soon after the botched Christmas Day bombing of a Detroit-bound U.S. airliner.

'It is unacceptable that the Port Authority (the agency in charge of the airport) took so long to produce this tape, but now that it is public we have a better chance of getting to the bottom of this major security incident,' Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, who released the video, said in a statement.

One of the planes hijacked in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States took off from the Newark airport.

That flight crashed into a Pennsylvania field after passengers confronted the hijackers.

Authorities shut down a California airport on Tuesday after a suspicious amber liquid in a passenger's bag tested positive for explosives - only to determine that the substance was merely a harmless container of honey.