Panicked Logan Airport evacuated on eve of Boston Marathon after old PlayStation triggers suspicion

There’s nothing like a good old-fashioned bomb scare to inject some excitement into your Easter travel plans.

This is what passengers at Terminal A at Boston’s Logan International Airport learned the hard way on Sunday when the presence of a suspicious item triggered an evacuation and subsequent panic, confusion, and delays at the airport. Considering this occurred on the eve of the 2022 Boston Marathon, which endured a deadly bombing nine years ago, it’s likely that people were already a bit apprehensive.

Now anyone who’s ever been to Logan International Airport knows that panic, confusion, and delays are pretty typical on any given Sunday afternoon. But when, shortly after 4 p.m., TSA personnel at the airport discovered a suspicious object while performing routine luggage screening, the situation was considered serious enough to warrant a call to the Massachusetts State Police’s bomb squad unit.

Videos posted to social media showed the confusion, as passengers were hurried out of the terminal and left wondering what was going on.

Turns out it was just an ancient PlayStation console.

Apparently, the console was so old and degraded that it generated unexpected anomalies in the X-ray imaging equipment—anomalies that registered a false signal, flagging the device as potentially something dangerous.

“I was just zoning out and had my headphones in while I was walking through,” one passenger, Jamey Miller, told the Boston Globe. He was in the security line queued up for a flight to LaGuardia when the incident occurred. “Suddenly everyone was running fast towards the exits, knocking over the stanchions, and ducking heads.

“I was looking towards the area people were running from and saw no signs of violence. I even asked someone ‘what’s happening?’ And she said, ‘I don’t know just run!'” That was sensible advice, but it’s unknown whether Jamey Miller heeded it. Another passenger, Nico Pisello, told NBC Boston that he saw people discard their luggage and belongings in the rush to get away, and he even saw one man fall to the ground in the panic.

“Right out of nowhere,” Pisello said, “I see the whole crowd, people yelling and screaming like it was out of a movie. No one knows what’s going on.”

In one video posted to Twitter, people can be seen calmly evacuating Terminal A. “You have to exit the secure point at this time,” a voice can be heard announcing over the airport communications system. “You have to exit—this is mandatory.”

After the bomb squad unit determined the “suspicious device” was merely an old video game console, state police gave the “all-clear” around 5 p.m., and passengers were allowed to reenter the terminal and board their flights. A number of travelers experienced delays, but Delta Air Lines (the carrier in Terminal A) informed NBC Boston that passengers who missed their flights would be rebooked.

Few could resist commenting on the absurdity of the whole situation.

The moral of this story? Next time, leave your “old and degraded” PlayStation behind when traveling by air.


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