Airline Knew Of Bomb Threat Never Told The Baggage Handlers


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Airline Knew Of Bomb Threat Never Told The Baggage Handlers

By Daniel Baxter

September 15, 2010 - Early this month a passenger told check-in staff at Qantas Airlines that there was a bomb in his bag. Rather than isolating the bag and clearing the area to ensure safety of all passengers, a manager ordered that the bag be X-rayed.  

Qantas Airlines instructed a baggage handler to X-ray the bag. However, the baggage handler was not informed at the time, that the bag was subject of a bomb threat.  

It wasn?t until after the bag was check did the ground handler learned of the threat. The baggage handler was outraged that he was not told and stated the bag should have been isolated, passengers cleared of the area and the police should have been called in. 


Just this week another passenger who had checked in for an Air China flight with an overweight bag was asked to take out some of his belongings in the bag. The customers responded by stating he was unable because he had a bomb in it. After a bomb threat on an Air China flight at Sydney International airport, baggage handlers have said they are have had it and are appalled after management told them to handle and screen a suspect bag. 

Transport Workers Union national secretary, Tony Sheldon said there were inadequate systems in place to handle the threat, and members found it frightening the police were not even called in to investigate. ?On the eve of the anniversary of September 11, the community, industry and workforce has been let down again by the people in charge of our aviation industry,? Mr Sheldon said. 

?What do we have to do get our employers, industry leaders and government put proper procedures in place to protect our safety? We shouldn?t actually have to see a bomb go off before there is action. ?Once again we are using 18th century techniques like putting a canary down the mineshaft to test the air ? except in this case the testing agent is a person with a family.

?There needs to be a full audit of all procedures across the airport and industry by an independent agency. We want to see refresher training for frontline aviation industry workers and an inquiry into repeated failures of security in the aviation industry. 


"We also need to ask why airlines, airports and governments have failure to implement recommendations of previous inquiries, including the Wheeler report, and action to reduce the caused by untrained and unscreened outside contractors. On top of this, we need Qantas to ensure their workforce is thoroughly trained ? in February we saw WorkCover criticize the company after it found there had not been fire drills on the ground for years?.


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