Transit Police left explosive device on plane
It took a Transit Police officer two days to realize he had left an explosive on a commercial airplane during a training exercise.
Transit Police lost explosive materials aboard an Air Canada plane during a 2011 training exercise in Vancouver and didn’t realize it was missing for two days, according to documents obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.
The plane had already flown to Toronto by the time a police dog handler admitted to his superiors he misplaced the explosives. The bottle carrying the volatile substance was never found after the aircraft was searched 14 times.
Transit Police spokeswoman Anne Drennan said the officer has since resigned after a host of protocols were broken during the exercise meant to train bomb-sniffing dogs up to the RCMP standard.
“This was human error. It shouldn’t have happened and we’ve taken as many steps as we can think of to ensure that this never happens again,” she said, adding Transit Police no longer use in-service aircraft for such exercises and officers must keep a log when using explosive materials.
Drennan emphasized the public was never at risk since the explosive material wasn’t equipped with a blasting cap needed for detonation.
Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick didn’t answer 24 hours when asked if any passengers were aboard the Toronto-bound flight, but admitted the carrier gave police permission to train aboard its plane.
After interviewing cleaning crews and following the trail of the airport’s garbage system, police records state investigators had “every reason to believe” the explosives ended up in a Burnaby incinerator. A report, however, acknowledged there could be “no concrete assurances” since cleaning crews couldn’t recall removing the bottle from the plane.
Jordan Bateman, the CTF’s B.C. director, said the public has every right to be concerned when police misplace explosive materials. He called for the agency to be disbanded.
Furthermore, he’s troubled police never went public about the matter.
“Where’s the accountability?”
Drennan didn’t know why Transit Police failed to go public with the incident, noting the chief and deputy chiefs in charge at the time are no longer with the service.