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A mysterious power failure at Boston’s Logan Airport that delayed dozens of flights for more than five hours has still not been explained – six days later.
Airport officials insist airline security was not compromised during the blackout Monday at Logan International’s Terminal E, but backup electrical systems failed to kick in as they are programmed under such circumstances.
Logan is the airport from which two of the Sept. 11 hijacked planes originated.
Officials promised a full report on the blackout Wednesday. It has still not been issued.
“We’re trying to figure out exactly what happened and why it happened,” said Phil Orlandella, Massport spokesman, last week.
The power outage was caused by an explosion at Massport’s Porter Street electric substation in East Boston around 2:15 p.m. Monday, officials said. The blast shut down the terminal’s security screening systems and other equipment. Power was restored around 7:10 p.m.
During the outage, federal security screeners had to search luggage and passengers by hand while canine screeners were brought in to sniff for explosives.
One terrorism specialist said yesterday the failure of the backup systems at Logan is a sign that federal security officials have not created a foolproof system.
“That [electrical] system should work, and that backup system should work,” said Juval Aviv, president of Interfor, an international investigative and intelligence-gathering firm. Aviv also serves as a special consultant to the U.S. Congress on issues of terrorism.
“After 9/11, Homeland Security promised that those basic security systems are now under full control and will function,” Aviv told the Boston Globe. “For the system to fail and for the backup at the same time, it’s totally unprofessional.”