11-year-old Liam Corcoran made a mockery of Manchester Airport’s security when he managed to make his way through Terminal 1 and board a flight to Rome on Tuesday, all by himself and lacking a boarding pass and passport. Corcoran now says the whole ordeal was “easier than my homework.”
The Irish Examiner reports on young Corcoran’s adventure to Rome. Corcoran, a native of Kilkenny in Ireland, was with his mother on a shopping trip at Wythenshawe, three miles away from Manchester Airport. Separating from his mother, Corcoran walked the three miles to the airport by himself.
Corcoran said that upon arriving at the airport, "I just wanted to go to the toilet. I wasn't trying to go anywhere I wasn't allowed. But it was easier than my homework, even easier than computer games."
"There were lots of people but I didn't speak to anyone. I followed where people were going and then at the barrier I went underneath it.”
"I didn't have anything on me and and no one asked me for anything. I did what I asked and just carried on walking."
Although he was screened and cleared at security, no one noticed that Corcoran wasn’t carrying a boarding pass or passport, nor that he was unaccompanied. The youngster made his way to Jet2’s flight to Rome and boarded without interruption.
It wasn’t until mid-flight that other passengers took notice of Corcoran who appeared to be by himself. Passengers notified the flight crew, who then in turn notified the pilot. Authorities at Manchester Airport were radioed and informed Liam’s mother that her son was safe and sound, although on his way to Rome.
Once landed in Rome, Corcoran returned to Manchester on the same flight.
While the glaring security breach would be alarming under any circumstance, it has provided particular concern considering that Manchester Airport is due to receive heightened traffic with London’s hosting of the 2012 Olympic Games.
Liam’s mother Mary, 29, said: "I can't get my head around it. How did he get that far without anyone asking him one question? I just keep thinking how easy it would be for a terrorist.’
A Manchester Airport spokesman said: "This extremely serious matter is now being urgently investigated by officials from the airport and airline. It is clear that documentation has not been checked correctly at security and the boarding gate.”
"The boy went through full security screening so the safety of passengers and the aircraft was never compromised."
Five Jet2 staff members have been suspended in the wake of the security breach while the investigation continues.
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