World & Nation

Airport error: Officer trying to unload gun accidentally fires it

In a case of how not to do your job, a flight attendant forgot she had a loaded gun in her handbag when she passed through security at Philadelphia International Airport, and a police officer then accidentally fired the weapon while trying to unload it.

Nobody was injured in Sunday’s incident, at least not physically, but chances are some reputations were a bit bruised. Neither the flight attendant nor the officer has been identified.

The Philadelphia Inquirer said the flight attendant, who works for Republic Airlines, has a permit to carry the weapon and that she was cited only for taking the .38-caliber revolver through security. The police officer was temporarily taken off patrol duty.

“She will go back to training for handling weapons,” police spokesman Lt. Ray Evers said, according to the Inquirer. “She will be off the streets for a period of time.”


The incident began at about 6:50 a.m. Sunday as the flight attendant reported to the airport for work and placed her handbag on the X-ray machine belt, the Inquirer reported. When a security officer spotted the gun inside it, police were alerted. That’s when the officer accidentally fired a shot while trying to remove the bullets from the weapon.

The flight took off as scheduled for Dallas, with another flight attendant replacing the gun-carrying employee.

Earlier this month, Philadelphia’s airport was the site of another strange security-related incident when a flight returned to the airport following a report that explosives were hidden on board. The US Airways flight bound for Dallas was searched in Philadelphia and found to be safe.

Police later said the report was a hoax targeting a passenger on the jet, and perpetrated by the passenger’s ex-girlfriend and her current boyfriend.



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