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Drunk driver shuts down Philadelphia airport

02 march 2012, 18:09
Kenneth Richard Mazik. ©AFP
Kenneth Richard Mazik. ©AFP
Flights at Philadelphia International Airport were halted for 40 minutes Thursday after a drunk driver drove through a gate into a restricted area and onto a runway, AFP reports.

Police intervened to stop the driver, identified as Kenneth Richard Mazik, 24, after he crashed through a locked, but unmanned gate.

"It was a locked facility, a secure facility and he rammed his way through there," said police spokeswoman Jillian Russell.

The jeep was detected by ground radar as it first moved toward one runway then toward a second one before police surrounded it, the spokeswoman said.

The airport was closed while police searched the vehicle for explosives.

The driver was charged with drunk driving and reckless endangerment.

Witnesses told local television channel WPVI the driver seemed to be awaiting the arrival of an airplane before he drove toward the runways. No airplanes were endangered by the vehicle's intrusion, police said.

The FBI and the Transportation Security Administration have opened investigations into the incident.

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