An elderly woman's cane was hiding a surprisingly dangerous weapon, which only became apparent once she passed through an X-ray machine at Myrtle Beach International Airport.
Myrtle Beach Online reports that an 80-year-old woman passed through security at the airport, where it was revealed that her cane was concealing a long sword.
“She had no clue it was in there,” said Mark Howell, TSA regional spokesman. “It happens a lot, actually,” Howell added. “People pick them up at a thrift store and the sword isn’t found until we X-ray it.”
This particular cane was a gift from her son. Unfortunately for the woman, she had to abandon it at the airport because she was not allowed to take it on board.
According to the Daily Mail, passengers are not allowed to bring anything on board that resembles a weapon. If they do, the item will have to be checked or surrendered.
Howell added that knives are the second-most common prohibited item that passengers unintentionally take with them through airport security, likely due to the fact that passengers don't think to take them out of their bags or pockets.
Howell claims that he has confiscated guns, as well, but in the vast majority of cases, passengers don't realize they have packed them. “The most common excuse is ‘oops, I forgot to take it out before I came to the airport,’ or their husband or wife packed the bag for them,” Howell said.
Toy guns and bombs are also not permitted on airplanes, since one could cause a major scare aboard an aircraft with such items.
“When we put it through (screening) we’re not going to know at first glance whether it’s real or not, so in an overabundance of caution we’re going to shut the whole checkpoint down,” Howell said. “They’re going to call in local law enforcement and bomb technicians and that will basically close checkpoints and the airport down until that item is cleared, so you could have a major delay there just for a novelty item."
Howell claims that around 25 to 30 pounds of items are confiscated at Myrtle Beach International Airport every month.