Friday, August 26, 2005

Spanish-speaker shuts down Nashville airport

The Tennessean reports that a confused Spanish-speaking traveler at the Nashville airport caused a temporary security shutdown when he attempted to enter the gate area through the exit lane of the security checkpoint.

"A Nashville International Airport passenger, unable to translate his destination request into English, brought the airport and airlines to a screeching halt yesterday as authorities searched for any signs of security threat."

"The chaos was sparked just before 6 p.m. when a passenger who speaks only Spanish attempted to walk through the exit lane instead of the screening lanes in Concourse C, according to spokeswoman Lynne Lowrance."

"By 7 p.m., passengers were sent back through the security checkpoints and allowed on their flights."

"After a lengthy interview with authorities, the lost passenger was rescreened and assisted to a flight that would take him to Raleigh, N.C., airport officials said."

The article does not state whether the shutdown would have occurred if the traveler had been able to state his destination in English.

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