Miami, Florida, USA: Miami International airport security footage shows a man easily bypass Airport Security crawling through a baggage carousel luggage conveyor belt and sneaking onto the tarmac before being subdued by cops.
The man pretended to talk on his cellphone and strolled past an empty security checkpoint near the American Airlines counter Saturday — and then plunged headfirst into the conveyor belt, video obtained by the Miami Herald shows.
The man crawled through the luggage carousel and made his way onto the runway before being chased by a handful of airport employees in neon vests and getting handcuffed by police.
Airport spokesman Marc Henderson said the incident was still under investigation and that it remained unclear whether the man was a passenger, employee or even scheduled to fly at all.
Subsequent footage shows the unidentified man sprinting across the tarmac as airport workers gave chase. He was quickly apprehended by airport staff, and later handcuffed by a police officer who arrived on the scene.
It is currently unknown whether the man was carrying a weapon, but the Herald’s source finds the incident “very concerning” either way.
“Had there been a plane at that gate, this individual could have entered the plane or had access to the aircraft. This is a very restricted area, only accessible to some with very limited access, and he was able to gain access,” said a source.
In a statement, American Airlines commended the “quick actions of our colleagues in Miami who helped alleviate this security issue,” though they directed any further inquiries to the Miami police.
Miami-Dade Police have yet to reveal the man’s identity, or whether he was a passenger or employee. Miami Dade police did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.
A representative for the Miami International Airport has further confirmed that the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement is handling the case.
New security measures affecting flights into the US recently came into effect, which US authorities say are aimed at reducing the threat of hidden explosives.
They include enhanced screening of passengers and electronic devices.
About 2,000 commercial flights a day from more than 100 countries will be affected.
Some airline officials have expressed concern that the checks could cause delays and lead to higher prices.
The measures apply to all commercial flights into the US, the Department of Homeland Security says.
They replace a ban on laptops in airline cabin baggage from eight predominantly-Muslim countries which the US government announced in March but later dropped.
The ban was prompted by fears that terrorists could hide a bomb inside a laptop computer.
The US is currently enforcing a travel ban on some people from eight countries – Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, North Korea, Venezuela and Chad. However Sudan has been removed from the ban. This has been the subject of litigation.
The new measures could include short security interviews with passengers at check-in or the boarding gate, airlines say.