Investigation after boy sneaks onto Beirut-Istanbul flight

2016-09-02 21:30


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Beirut - Officials at Beirut's international airport said on Friday they were investigating how a teenage boy was able to sneak onto a flight and travel to Turkey without a ticket or passport.

The boy boarded an Istanbul-bound plane operated by Lebanon's national carrier, Middle East Airlines, on Wednesday.

He was discovered by the crew onboard after the plane had already taken off, when they realised there were more passengers on the aircraft than on the manifest they had been given, local media said.

"Wide scale investigations are ongoing into the details of the incident and how the child passed through the security checkpoints and boarded the plane without being detected," airport authorities said in a statement published by the official National News Agency.

It added that anyone found to have been "negligent" would be punished, and that security procedures were being strengthened "to prevent the recurrence of such an incident".

Local media said the boy was 13 years old, and had managed to sneak through the multiple security points in the airport and board the plane, taking a seat in business class.

His nationality and the purpose of his journey were unclear.

Passengers flying from Beirut's Rafik Hariri airport generally pass through at least five security points, including one before they enter the airport and a final examination of their documents by security at the departure lounge, before boarding flights.

Millions of passengers pass through Rafik Hariri airport each year, and the incident comes after officials acknowledged that security at the facility needs work.

In March, Transport and Public Works Minister Ghazi Zaiter told a press conference that there was a $1.4m shortfall in funds needed to bolster security measures at the airport.

The boy's adventure prompted criticism from Walid Jumblatt, a leading political figure and head of the Druze minority, who linked it to the country's ongoing political stalemate.

Lebanon has been without a president for more than two years, with its parliament locked in a standoff between two rival political blocs.

"All of this is due to the political and administrative chaos," in the country, he wrote on Twitter.

Read more on:    lebanon

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Mobile Developer

Cape Town
Goldman Tech Resourcing
R360 000 - R480 000 Per Year

Senior PHP Developer

Cape Town
Mass Staffing Projects
R480 000 - R720 000 Per Year

Sales Representative

Cape Town
Pax Staffing Dynamix (Pty) Ltd
R8 000 - R25 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.