11-year-old English boy Liam Corcoran is making international news after he managed to get through security at Manchester Airport and board a flight to Rome, Italy, all while unaccompanied and not carrying any form of identification or boarding pass.
Corcoran allegedly separated from his mother while the two were at the Wythenshawe Civic Centre. From there, Corcoran walked three miles to Manchester Airport and presumably tagged along with a family who was going through Terminal 1’s security.
Although Corcoran was screened, it was never noticed by staff that he was alone and lacking a boarding pass.
Corcoran made it through security and then proceeded to board a Jet2 flight to Rome’s Fiumicino Airport.
It wasn’t until the flight was in progress that other passengers onboard grew suspicious of the young boy and alerted the flight crew, who then alerted the pilot. The pilot radioed back to Manchester to inform them of the situation.
Liam’s mother was then alerted by police from Manchester Airport that although her son was safe and sound, he was en route to Italy.
Along with not having money, a boarding pass, or identification, Corcoran was also reportedly missed during the passenger headcount by the flight’s crew.
Sarah Swayne, one of the travelers on board, told the Manchester Evening News, “He [Corcoran] was very talkative and seemed quite unfazed by it all. He was just sat there chatting away about how he’d been trying to run away from home.”
She added: ”He seemed quite innocent really, and I don’t think it had sunk in how serious the situation was.”
Upon landing in Rome, young Corcoran was kept on board for the return flight to Manchester.
The serious breach in security comes less than a week before London’s opening of the Olympics, which will undoubtedly see heightened traffic at airports around England.
A spokesperson for Manchester Airport said, “This extremely serious matter is now being urgently investigated. 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.”
Speaking to BBC News on Wednesday, British Transport Secretary Justine Greening said, “This is an unusual and serious breach and we are keen to find out what has gone on.”
At least five staff members from Jet2 have been suspended, and a full investigation has been launched into how airport security was turned into mere child’s play.
Liam Corcoran is now safe at home with his parents in England.