TSA: Flammable liquid not a threat on diverted plane

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Flammable liquids and outbursts about guns got a passenger escorted off of a plane by Memphis Airport Police.

The video shows the officers doing their jobs after the plane was diverted to Memphis.

When that disruptive passenger was taken off of the plane, law enforcement said they found gloves, a flammable liquid, and a lighter on him.

The Transportation Security Administration said those items were OK to have aboard the flight.

“How did they get through security?” Patrice Perez asked.

Perez was stumped as she tried to understand how Andrew Mangual made it onto United Flight 1435.

“Any kind of liquid or lighter, I try to avoid that,” Perez said.

According to TSA, she does not have to avoid those items.

A spokes person for the agency sent over the following statement:

Following the disruption of the UK/US airline bombing plot in August 2006, TSA issued rules that, with a few exceptions, effectively banned liquids, gels, and aerosols on aircraft.

After conducting extensive research, TSA determined small amounts of liquids (under 3.4 ounces) are not a threat. The one-quart plastic bag per person limits the total liquid volume (capacity) each traveler can bring on the plane.

The TSA spokesperson said disposable lighters are allowed, too.

Those items were exactly what officers found on Mangual.

“We are the ones that handled the incident,” Commander Derek Dean, with the Memphis Airport Police Department, said.

Dean said his officers, seen in a video obtained by WREG, pulled the disruptive passenger off of the plane.

According to a police report, Mangual jumped from seat to seat filming people on his cell phone and screamed, “It’s dangerous if a gun goes off.”

“We determine whether or not a criminal activity or a criminal act have taken place,” Commander Dean said.

While some of the disturbed passenger’s actions may be considered criminal, the TSA said the items he had on board were legal.

Airport police plan on stepping up patrols at the airport so passengers will continue feeling safe.

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