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Boys, 11 and 12, found on board LIAT aircraft at 4:45 a.m.

Boys, 11 and 12, found on board LIAT aircraft at 4:45 a.m.

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Two children made a mockery of the security system at the E.T. Joshua airport last weekend.

The boys, aged 11 and 12, are said to have scaled the airport fence, walked on to the ramp and boarded a LIAT aircraft through an open emergency exit sometime after 10:45 p.m. on Saturday, November 15.{{more}}

The boys, said to be from the Kingstown area, stayed the night, ate snacks and slept until they were discovered the next morning at around 4:45 a.m. by a member of LIAT’s airport staff.

The aircraft had come in from Barbados the night before.

A release from the Agency for Public Information on Wednesday, November 19, said that “emergency procedures were immediately activated, all relevant authorities were alerted and a safety and security search of the aircraft was conducted.”

“The search of the aircraft concluded there was no structural damage, nor did the breach pose any further security risk to the continued operation of the flight.”

What remains unclear, however, is how the two boys were able to get access to the aircraft and why the aircraft was left open, among other things.

SEARCHLIGHT contacted LIAT’s local manager Dominque Patterson who said he was not at liberty to issue a statement.

When we called LIAT’s Antigua head office, we were told that Chief Executive Officer Mark Darby was off island and we were put on to Marketing Manager Derrick Frederick in Barbados.

Frederick told SEARCHLIGHT that he wasn’t the person to speak to and directed us back on to the head office in Antigua.

Meanwhile, the youngsters were hauled before the Family Court to answer charges relating to the

incident on Wednesday, November 19. They pleaded guilty and at press time were awaiting sentencing.

The Magistrate ordered that a probationary report be presented prior to sentencing.

That same day, a meeting was convened with personnel from the Ministry of National Security, the Department of Airports and LIAT “which reviewed the incident, its causes and effects and agreed to implement a number of active and passive measures to mitigate and prevent any recurrence of similar incidents,” the release said.

There is no word about why it took the officials three days to convene a meeting regarding the breach of the security at the nation’s airport.

A usually reliable source told SEARCHLIGHT that after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the United States, security was beefed up at the airport, but it has since slackened.

“I am not aware of that,” said David Robin, Director of Maritime Administration, when questioned.

As for the new measures, he said that there will be increased patrols at the airport.

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