We've seen large quantities of gels, liquids, and pastes confiscated at TSA checkpoints in airports around the country. We've even seen people try to take live shotgun shells and box cutters through these checkpoints. But, an incident at LAX (Los Angeles International) really got our attention. Fortunately, it ended without injury or serious side effects. And, if it wasn't reported on KTLA-TV and written about in the LA Times, we would have thought it was just an urban legend. Although it would be difficult to make-up a story this good.
Last Saturday morning, a 56-year old woman placed her one-month old grandson in a gray plastic bin and sent him through the airport security x-ray machine. The TSA screener was shocked when he saw the baby's skeletal form on his computer display, but he responded quickly, shut down the x-ray machine, and rescued the infant.
Gray plastic bins are used to transport computers, shoes, and jackets along the conveyor belt as they pass through the x-ray machines.
The TSA screener immediately called police who called paramedics. A doctor examined the baby and gave him a clean bill of health. After all the commotion subsided, the grandmother and baby were allowed to board their Alaska Airline's flight from Los Angeles to Mexico City.
The doctor said the baby received about the same among of radiation as he would receive after spending an afternoon outside on a typical California day. Other than an embarrassed grandmother, there were no adverse side effects.
Once on the plane, we hope the grandmother held the baby in her lap rather than putting him in the overhead baggage compartment!