Computer Monitor Causes Scare At Newark Airport

Slight Radiation Leak Normal But Situation Closes Terminal A

NEW YORK (1010 WINS / WCBS 880 / CBS 2) — A security scare shut down parts of Newark Liberty Airport on Monday morning. A checked bag set off a radiation alarm, leading to an evacuation.

“I was like oh my God what’s going on? I don’t know what to think,” passenger Alisha Reid told CBS 2’s Kathryn Brown.

Holiday travel chaos was made even worse when bomb squad teams were called into Terminal A at Newark Liberty to investigate a suspicious piece of luggage.

“They just said there’s a security breach of some nature and we just got piled into that line back there and all we saw was emergency vehicle after emergency vehicle going by, but nobody was telling us what was going on,” passenger Chris Burdette said.

Passengers were forced to evacuate the terminal. Some, like Joan Dugan, were made to stand outside for nearly an hour.

“We came in a taxi. They just dropped us in the middle of nowhere and we just had to stand there for 40 minutes in the cold,” Dugan said.

“I just wanted to make my flight,” another passenger added.

WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane reports

CBS News terrorism expert Raymond Tanter on the roundup in the U.K.

Police flagged a passenger’s checked bag because it was emitting radiation, but later discovered it contained only a computer monitor — which normally emits small amounts of radiation.

Within an hour law enforcement gave the all-clear.

“This is the second time this has happened to us in consecutive Christmases. It happened to us in Minneapolis so it can happen anywhere,” passenger Stan Shores said.

While the delay was frustrating — and scary – most of the passengers said it was better to be safe than sorry.

“[It was] mass chaos, pretty much,” Burdette said.

“I would rather be delayed for an hour or two or whatever it takes rather than have something catastrophic happen,” Carol Shores said.

“I’m glad that they are keeping security this tight, so at least we will be safe,” Alisha Reid said.

Federal authorities said the investigation into what happened is ongoing. The Transportation Security Administration said the monitor was going to the same destination as its owner — and there was never any danger.

More from Paul Murnane
  • rkwebs

    Airport security? its sucks

  • katz

    some phosphors of some image storage devices will emit alpha radiation when excited by X-ray

  • Erik W

    Another “suspicious package”, another complete over-the-top reaction. Guess who’s watching, enjoying their win.

  • DuhMe

    After reading all of these well-researched, unbiased, and insightful opinions posted by readers, I am completely convinced that only ignorant, incompetent, imbeciles provide personal input here, simply because no one is able to tell them to Shut Up! …self included. The bright side to all of this is that some of us here could be destined for a successful career at Fox News!

    • Traveler

      Pot calling the kettle black are we????

    • Reality Check

      Ah, you are identifying yourself as a Liberal.

      Personal attacks, total lack of a substantive argument.

      Name calling as your only means of communications.

      Yup, Liberal.

  • mursunshinenow


    The type of employees that are hired by Newark and TSA in Newark are people you would not open your front door for. Most of the people who service the planes between flights are the kind of people who should be strip searched and grouped. TV programs have shown where NY Port Authoriety employees at all the airparts can easily slip pass securiety without concern.

  • Wake Up Randy

    Fools……FOOLS !


  • Radman

    This males no sense. New computers with LCD screens emit no radiation. Older computers(desk top) with CRT monitors emitted low amounts of x-rays, but only when running. Something Fishy with this story.

    • davec

      you have no idea what youre talking about….CRTs DO emit radiation when off

      • Radman

        Please explain brainiac? Bless us with some of your vast knowledge. How do they emit radiation when off? You are clueless!

    • mirsunshinenow

      Correct, LCD screens do not emit radiation but the display electronics is operating at a frequency in the mega-herz range and that is dazardous. Plastic does not provide any schileding. Kids should not be allowed to sit next to the screen.

      Oh, the screens do pass government safety requirements because those requirements were lowered to make the units seem face.

      • Reality Check

        Seem face ???

  • HeckSpawn

    Someone’s taking a computer monitor with them? Those things are heavy. The old CRT’s used to emit a bit of x-ray radiation, but the new LED screens don’t.

    If the passenger is flying with a CRT, wouldn’t it be cheaper to BUY one when you get where you’re going? I see 21″ CRT’s on craigslist for $20-30 or so…

    • Hey buddy, wanna but a monitor, cheap?

      lol…..Them some HOT monitors boy.

      • HeckSpawn

        Nope, I tried selling a 21″ Hitachi myself for $20 and had no takers. Everyone wants flatscreens these days.

  • motorman

    obama knows if there is a problem on his watch there goes the second term so they can’t take any chances

  • me2

    CRTs emit Bremsstrahlung radiation when they are on. I can’t imagine one emitting radiation when it’s off.

  • JS

    TSA = Keystone cops

  • bumblefoot2004

    Interesting. A computer monitor that emitted a tiny bit of radiation shuts down a terminal, yet the back scatter scanners (TSA porn machine) is deemed perfectly safe?

  • Undettered

    Oh my goodness something radioactive. 40 years of paranoid main stream media and Hollywood hype has caused us to loose all common sense.

    • M 1

      It has apparently also caused us to “loose” our ability to spell.

  • Joe

    This is textbook on how the US Gov’t operates. Absolute stupidity.

  • jdaniel


  • Peter913

    Don’t talk to the idiots. They are idiots and don’t understand. Vote the Dope out of office who placed them in their jobs!!!

  • dj61

    Why didn’t they just run it through the full body scanner? What a bunch of insanity.

  • Baggie

    So the regular agents are not trained to deal with anything as common a a computer component? This is the sort of thing that has made me stop flying. The terrorists didn’t win – our three stooges officials lost.

  • Wendy Weinbaum

    As a Jewess in the US, I can only state that government stupidity like THIS is one more reason why all REAL Americans must now put our 2nd Amendment FIRST!!

    • a

      What does being jewish have to do with anything? TSA is not being stupid in this case. They detected what they thought was a bomb, so they took the precautions to verify what it was, and they found out it wasn’t a bomb.

      • ededwards

        Nothing was detected!! It was another example of fear mongering to justify more invasive and draconian methods for a police state.

      • Reality Check

        The article never said they thought they detected a bomb.

        Make up a fact and then argue that fact proves your point.

        Lies and propaganda.

  • katz

    The ecology of law enforcement requires crime. If there is no real crime, it will be manufactured.

  • Traveler

    Talk about drama queens, have to shut down an entire terminal. Idiots should handle this like they do in Europe. Only disrupts travelers about 5-10 minutes. Idiots at TSA and the baboon running it need headlines like this to justify their strip searchs and sexual assults. Of course they themselves get to bypass all this. Surprised “we take security very seriously” was not quoted in the ariticle.

    • Reality Check

      Clinton was so honest about it, those of us who have choice never want to go through security.

      Government run for the government, by the government.

      Silly Tea Party, nothing to complain about here.

  • ken

    Package “left’ behind a securiy counter??? Humm! Possible TSA employee Christmas shopping

    • jeleanoro

      hmmm…ken and others…READ the whole article before commenting! Your opinion would then be an informed one, and make sense!

      • Traveler

        Maybe if the article did not change constantly. Did YOU read the first edition of what was posted? Of course not or you would have understood the comments. Just because CBS can’t report the facts with the first release is not my problem. However to still close the area for an hour demonstrates their inability to react. Try the Europe model.

  • Gerry

    The terrorists have won. I’m sick and tired of hearing about these “suspected bombs” in the news, myself having been inconvenienced by abandoned suitcases 4 times now.

  • Jon

    The highly trained TSA agents don’t know this? It takes a Special Agent? I’ll give up THIS type security for a little of my freedom back, thank you very much.

    • a

      the special agents are the ones with helmets on, and are good at cleaning windows with their tongues… :-)

      • Reality Check

        Hugh ???

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