An investigation by the Detroit Free Press reveals that mishandling of suspected underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab could have endangered passengers at Detroit Metro Airport. After pilots on Northwest Flight 253 radioed air traffic controllers that a passenger might have firecrackers on board, the plane was permitted to taxi to Gate A24 rather than holding on the tarmac for further inspection. Unaware of the gravity of the situation, airport officials allowed passengers off the plane without further screening, and the aircraft remained at the gate for about two hours before it was moved to a remote location. Both the airport and the airline say their personnel acted properly, given the information available to them at the time.
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