Possible security breach grounds flight in Philly - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Possible security breach grounds flight in Philly

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Transportation security officials removed passengers from a Bermuda-bound flight Thursday at Philadelphia International Airport after reports that someone was helping to load the plane without a security badge.

More than 100 passengers were taken off packed US Airways Flight 1070 after what airport officials called a security concern raised by the airline.

Authorities were sweeping the aircraft for any dangerous items, said Greg Soule, a spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration.

The Airbus 319 was sitting in an isolated area far from the airport terminal and surrounded by emergency vehicles with lights flashing. Security dogs moved from bag to bag among luggage spread on the ground near the jet.

Philadelphia police said initial reports indicated the person helping to load the plane was dressed in an airline uniform. The person's whereabouts were unclear, and it was unclear whether the person was loading cargo or passengers.

The plane was towed to a secure area, airport spokeswoman Victoria Lupica said. US Airways spokesman Todd Lehmacher would not comment on specifics, citing the ongoing investigation.

One of the 102 passengers on the plane, Amanda Benner, said travelers were told "there was a TSA security breach" and were asked to exit the plane through the Jetway and back into the terminal.

"We're in the airport now. They took us off," she told The Associated Press by cell phone. "They told us there was a TSA security breach and we've had to leave everything on the plane and get off. They're re-screening everything on the plane."

There were 12 TSA officers in the area, in addition to Philadelphia police and "all kinds of guys in suits," she said. "They're very stern and serious."

Benner and her husband were en route to Bermuda for a long weekend for their 15th wedding anniversary.

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Associated Press writers Randy Pennell in Philadelphia and Eileen Sullivan in Washington contributed to this report.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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