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Fake bomb mistakenly goes to Amsterdam

UPI News Service, 12/16/2004 

A bungled training exercise at Newark (N.J.) Liberty International airport allowed a fake bomb to be flown to Amsterdam, the Newark Star Ledger reports.

The fiasco began Tuesday night when screeners lost track of a black, soft-covered bag, containing simulated Semtex plastic explosives, a detonator, wiring and a clock in the final hour before Continental Flight 70 departed with more than 200 people aboard.

A U.S. Transportation Security Administration representative based in Belgium was dispatched to Amsterdam Wednesday to get the fake bomb back.

"It was part of a testing kit. It was a simulated explosive constructed with an inert material that was mishandled and loaded onto an airplane," said Amy Von Walter, a TSA spokeswoman. "The screening personnel involved will be provided remedial training as necessary."

The TSA said a screener spotted the device but then lost track of the bag. The agency issued a statement stressing the material was harmless.

"At no time did the bag containing inert material pose any danger to passengers or the aircraft," the statement said.

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Copyright 2004 by United Press International

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