Story by Tamara Tiethoff, News Intern
Photo courtesy of TheDailyCaller
After just listening to the safety precautions and learning what to do in case of an emergency, a plane full of passengers is ready to settle in and decide what they will order from the flight attendant when she walks by. Everything changes, though, when only 23 minutes into the flight, the plane drops off the radar. In a split second, the plane goes down and all 224 people aboard the plane are killed.
On October 31, the Russian Metrojet flight Airbus A321 crashed over Egypt’s Sinai peninsula while on its way to St. Petersburg.
“It is believed to be the deadliest air accident in the history of Russian aviation,” said the Russian news agency RIA, according to USA Today.
After much confusion regarding the cause of the crash it became clear that the plane was taken down by a bomb that was snuck on board and it is suspected that that the crash was on account of ISIS, who later claimed responsibility.
“The photograph shows a soft drink can and two components that appear to be a detonator and a switch,” said explosives expert Anthony May, reports CNN.
Based on the investigations, the metal should have set off any alarms through security. However, since the bomb was so simple researchers say that it would have been easy to separate the bomb into individual parts and then construct it on the other side of security.
“The volume of the can means it could contain a half kilogram, or 500 grams, of an explosive ‘which is just sufficient to bring down an airliner’,” said explosives expert Chris Owen, from Alford Technologies, according to CNN.
Due to the tragedy, airports are planning to increase security. Currently, the process is basic TSA, Transportation Security Administration, screening. It is said that there will be increased “seen and unseen” measure of screening taking place, reports The Washington Post.
“Transportation Security Administrator (TSA) Peter Neffenger and I, out of an abundance of caution, have identified a series of interim, precautionary enhancements to aviation security with respect to commercial flights bound for the United States from certain foreign airports in the region,” said Jeh C. Johnson, secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, according to The Washington Post.
Since the airports can’t tell passengers that they are not allowed to bring a carry-on bag, they are doing what they can to keep everyone safe.
“We work closely with our airlines, TSA, rental car companies, parking operators, etc. There are many team players here at the airport to ensure flights are on time and safe,” explained Tara Hernandez, Marketing and Communications Manager of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport.
Before any final decisions are made, consultations happen between the TSA agents and TSA equivalents around the world. This is to ensure that the airports are taking similar precautions to prevent events like this in the future.
“In most airports worldwide, passengers and their carry-on bags are subject to x-ray machines, metal detectors and, in some cases, bomb-sniffing dogs,” said a DHS official reports The Washington Post.
Investigations are still happening to find out exactly who the bomb came from and if ISIS was in fact the cause of the crash. The Russian government is offering a $50 million reward for information about those who brought down the plane. All that can be done now is wait.
For those of you flying home from the Gerald R. Ford airport during the upcoming months know that your safety is of the utmost importance. The workers are thrilled to experience so many loved ones be reunited each day and always want the best for the traveler.
“We can connect people to almost anywhere in the world right from our own backyard. It’s exciting to know that someone may be taking their first flight or their 150th and we hope each time it’s a memorable experience. I love being around so many great people, seeing reunions with grandmas and grandkids or military members with their family. Really, we connect people, and that’s a wonderful experience to share,” explains Hernandez.
About the Writer…
Tamara Tiethoff is a nursing major in the UDM/Aquinas program. In the future she hopes to become a neonatal nurse and continue writing on the side. She enjoys staying busy, but in her free time she loves drawing, spontaneous adventures, and coffee shops.