Passenger Unwittingly Carries Bomb on Flight to Ireland

The satisfaction of purchasing cheap airplane tickets and even cheaper discount hotel rooms can be wiped out when passengers find out that authorities have placed a bomb on their plane.

A Slovak airport botched sniffer dog drill, in which the explosives went undetected by dogs, lead to a Slovak traveler unknowingly having three ounces of plastic explosives secreted in his checked bag.

The explosive material remained in his bag for three days after he landed in Ireland before Slovaks security officials finally informed the Irish who then sent military personnel to retrieve this material. Irish security experts were also upset that the pilot decided to fly to Dublin after being informed prior to departure that explosive material had been placed in the planes checked luggage.

Airports regularly carry out security exercises to test the effectiveness of the security procedures they have in place. However, it is unusual for real explosives to be used and for working explosives to be placed in an unsuspecting travelers bag.

The Slovak Interior ministry expressed profound regret over what happened but said that no one on the plane carrying the bomb was in danger because the explosive placed in the luggage did not have a detonator and thus could not be ignited.

This incident demonstrats the inadequacy of screening procedures of checked baggage. It also clearly shows a serious lack of coordination of efforts to improve airport security between government officials in different countries, especially following Christmas Days failed bombing attempt of a flight inbound to Detroit.

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