Nobody questioned me, says Irish boy who flew to Rome
Thursday, July 26, 2012 - 08:59 AM
An Irish boy of 11 who flew to Rome by himself without a passport or boarding pass has revealed he walked through a series of airport security checks without being challenged by a single member of staff.
Liam Corcoran-Fort said he was not asked for any documentation as he made his way onto the Jet2.com flight at Manchester Airport just days before the Olympic Games gets under way.
The Kilkenny youngster had wandered away from his mother during a shopping trip in Wythenshawe on Tuesday before travelling a few miles to the airport on a bus after finding a ticket on the floor.
Liam told The Sun newspaper that he needed the toilet so decided to head into Terminal 1 of the transport hub - which has been welcoming athletes in the run-up to the Games.
He said he walked through a body scanner and metal detector, but his lack of documents was not noticed by staff.
The youngster then passed through a gate where he was not required to show a passport or boarding pass, and made it on to Jet2.com flight LS791 to the Italian capital without being asked to show his boarding stub to cabin crew.
Liam said: "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."
The schoolboy, who has learning difficulties, added: "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."
A Manchester Airport spokesman said that once passengers became aware Liam was on his own, airline staff were alerted and the plane's captain informed the authorities.
The youngster remained on board after landing at Rome Fiumicino Airport, and returned to Manchester on the same plane, where he was met by his mother Mary at around 9pm on Tuesday.
The 29-year-old 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."
Five staff from Manchester Airport and Jet2.com have been suspended while an investigation into the incident takes place, according to The Sun.
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."
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