The day the United States experienced its most recent attempted terrorist attack, baggage at Denver International Airport was not scanned, violating federal rules, a CALL7 Investigators learned.
The Transportation Security Administration issued a statement, saying they are investigating the security breach.
On Dec. 25, the day of an attempted attack on a jet heading to Detroit, thousands of checked bags were diverted away from the scanner and on to United Airlines planes, records and interviews show.
Obviously, a big problem? CALL7 Investigator Tony Kovaleski said.
Obviously, not just a security concern but a violation of, of federal security rules, said DIA Manager of Aviation Kim Day.
The diversion lasted for seven days, records obtained by 7News show.
It was a couple thousands of bags over a couple of days where we screened 300,000, 350,000 bags, Day said It was less than 1 percent of those days."
Airport officials said there was no danger to passengers because no one could have known their bags were not scanned, Day said.
"No one checking in could have known that their bag was not going to be checked so you could not have used this to foil the system," Day said.
An internal memo obtained by 7News shows the problem happened because of a computer programming error.
The memo said a machine was placed in an alternate operating mode and procedures and instructions for doing this were altered by accident.
The memo says the computing mistake was attributed to human error.
The unscanned bags all went on United flights but an airline spokeswoman declined comment. TSA issued a statement that, in part, said: The TSA immediately ensured that the responsible parties corrected the error and put additional safeguards in place.
TSA takes this matter very seriously and is continuing its investigation, the statement said. However, there is no indication that this incident is attributable to anything other than unintentional human error.
"How can the public be assured that this wont happen again, Kovaleski asked.
We have put a fix in place that I feel confident that will prevent this particular instant from happening again, Day said.
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