The tightened security inspection procedures implemented at US airports since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the US may still have loopholes, after four bullets were found in the economy-class cabin of a China Airlines plane that arrived from Los Angeles on Sunday night.
Flight CI-005 landed at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at about 9:45pm on Sunday. As the aircraft was not assigned to an onward flight, it was towed to the airline’s depot in the airport for maintenance.
Aviation police said that the ground crew started cleaning the cabins at about 1am and found four bullets in a backseat pocket in the economy class. The crew then quickly reported the find to the aviation police.
Aviation police said the bullets are used in pistols and were likely manufactured by US-based Smith & Wessen Holding Corp.
They added that they were trying to trace the owner of the bullets.
China Airlines said it was informed by the Taoyuan International Airport Service Co that the bullets had been found in backseat pocket.
The carrier said it had no knowledge of the exact number or source of the bullets, nor did it know if the bullets had been used.
The airline said that it would fully cooperate with aviation police in their investigation and would offer a list of the passengers on the flight if necessary.
Airport officials said that there was another case last year in which passengers on flights departing from the US were able to pass the security with guns or bullets in their check-in luggage.
They said they were compiling the information of all these different cases and would report them to the US government.