London: The security arrangements of the United Kingdom at the most important event of Olympic 2012 collapsed on Tuesday after an 11-year-old boy, Liam, slipped onto a Rome-bound plane at Manchester Airport in the UK without a ticket, passport, or parental consent.
Although the child was not a terrorist but terrorist elements could gain advantage of such loose security arrangements during Olympic 2012.
British Transport Secretary Justine Greening has announced several high-level investigations after 11-year-old Liam Corcoran flew to Rome on his own from Manchester Airport without a passport, ticket or boarding pass.
The schoolboy passed through security without being checked, before boarding the Jet2.com flight yesterday.
Liam had travelled less than three miles from a nearby shopping centre, before evading five security checks to successfully board flight LS791 to the Italian capital.
The captain was only alerted to the extra passenger when holidaymakers raised concerns during the flight.
Liam’s 1,500 mile “adventure” ended last night when he returned to Britain unharmed and was reunited with his family.
The drama began at lunchtime yesterday when Liam was reported to Greater Manchester Police as missing.
It appeared he had run away from his 28-year-old mother, Mary, while she was shopping at Wythenshawe Civic Centre, located just over a mile from their home.
It remains unclear how he travelled to the airport, located about two and half miles away, but when he arrived he passed through security in Terminal 1 without any problems.
It was understood that Liam had followed a family when he got to the packed terminal and that security staff scanned him but failed to realise he was on his own and had no boarding card.
He then went to one of the gates where passengers were boarding Jet2.com flight and managed to get past a security check without showing a passport or boarding card.
The spokesman of Manchester airport said: “He was with a large group of other children, he appeared to be in a family group – for whatever reason he wasn’t checked.”
It was believed that after he boarded and took a seat, crew failed to carry out an accurate headcount to make sure that the number of passengers and boarding cards matched up.
During the flight, passengers became suspicious and alerted cabin crew.
The captain was informed and radioed back to Manchester, where police informed the boy’s mother, he was safe and well but on a plane heading to Italy.
The boy remained on board after landing at Rome Fiumicino Airport, and returned to Manchester on the same plane, where he was met by his mother around 9pm last night.
A number of staff from Manchester Airport and Jet2.com have been suspended. Officials declined to comment further or say how many staff have been suspended.
According to reports, analysts have claimed that incident occurred due to racial discrimination as security is being on high alert for blacks, Asian and Muslims while the white’s were given an easy passage.