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UPS cargo planes searched for suspicious materials

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An ink toner cartridge that was thought to have been converted into a bomb was tested for explosive materials. The tests were negative, but triggered the investigation of UPS shipments from Yemen.

By Staff
October 29, 2010

Several media outlets are reporting that two United States airports—Newark, N.J. Liberty International Airport and Philadelphia International Airport—are on high alert after a UPS cargo plane originating in Yemen and had transited through Europe was carrying a suspicious package, which contained a printer toner package which was tampered with and resembled an improvised bomb.

The device, according to a New York Times report, was found last night at an airport in Birmingham, England. The report stated that federal officials isolated UPS cargo planes that landed at both U.S. airports on Friday morning, because they were carrying packages that appeared to have the same origin as the one found in England.

And the report also said that the UPS cargo plane from Yemen first attracted the attention of security officials who examined a suspicious package where the toner package was found.

An Associated Press report said that test results for explosives were negative. Cargo planes that landed safely at the Newark and Philadelphia airports were being searched after reports of potentially suspicious items on board.

The UPS flight that landed at Newark reportedly came from Yemen, said the AP, and the UPS flight that landed in Philadelphia arrived from Paris.

The United States Transportation Security Administration said in a statement that “out of an abundance of caution, the planes were moved to a remote location where they are being met by law enforcement officials and swept.

UPS officials said the company is fully cooperating with authorities who are monitoring reports of potentially suspicious packages on board cargo flights.

“We can confirm that authorities have investigated two aircraft in Philadelphia and one in Newark,” read a company statement. “All of these aircraft have landed safely. Security is of the utmost importance to UPS.”

An air cargo source told LM that there was speculation that information regarding the potential bomb was obtained “through some form of screening mechanism that took place.”

Click here for more UPS stories.

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