United cancels more flights after O'Hare security breach
Police searching for man who ran through checkpoint
August 27, 1999
Web posted at: 1:52 p.m. EDT (1752 GMT)
CHICAGO (CNN) -- Flight cancellations rippled through United Airlines' flight schedule Friday, after a man bolted through a security checkpoint.
United spokeswoman Christina Price said 80 United flights had been canceled Friday morning. She said some resulted from the cancellation almost 70 flights from O'Hare International Airport on Thursday. Others were caused by fog in the Midwest and poor weather on the West Coast, she said.
Thursday a man breached security in the United terminal at O'Hare, prompting the airline to delay or cancel flights for thousands of passengers while it checked to "make sure nothing suspicious was left" in the concourse. Friday morning, the man remained at large. Price said United hoped to have its daily schedule of 2,400 flights back on track "later in the day."
The airline canceled 69 flights on Thursday and delayed 50 more at the gate in O'Hare as well as 50 arriving flights. A total of 6,000 passengers were affected at O'Hare alone before an all-clear signal was given nearly two hours after the breach occurred.
The man dashed up a restricted staircase from the airline's baggage claim area, ignored a security guard's order to stop, and proceeded into the concourse "where he disappeared into the crowd," a spokesman said.
The terminal was shut down, forcing hordes of stranded passengers outside, where they disrupted traffic lanes by their sheer numbers.
Chicago police described the suspect as a white male, 5-foot-10 to 6 feet (1.7 - 1.8 meters), 160 to 165 pounds (72 to 74.3 kilograms) with a dark mustache and wearing a light green shirt and tan or khaki pants.