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August 25, 2006

"I dopped an iPod into an airline toilet"

Remember the story last week about the guy who dropped an iPod into an airplane toilet? The plane was enroute from Chicago to Ottawa, and upon landing it was greeted by police canine and bomb units.

Well, the guy who dropped the iPod has posted an account of what happened. From an anonymous post on a World of Warcraft forum:

It all started when I got out of my seat to go to the bathroom. I went to the bathroom, washed my hands, and returned to my seat. A little while later the two stewardesses on the flight crossed each other in the aisle. They had a quick conversation that I was in earshot of.

"I locked off the front lav. There's something in the toilet that's preventing it from flushing. Run some water and see if you can clear it." My face immediately turned red. The seat cover! I thought. It must have been too big to flush! I should have thrown it out!

...

Sometime later, I decided it would be best if I forgot the whole thing happened, so I went to put on my headphones and drown myself in iPod music. But ... no iPod. I panicked, checked my other pockets. Where was it? Not under the seat, not in the pockets, not ... anywhere. I looked up to the stewardesses. One of them had run past me in a decent clip. She was carrying a green handbook. She brought it to the other stewardess. They flipped through the handbook, read a page, then made a call. The other stewardess had retrieved a blue metal box and was removing some equipment from it.

I put two and two together. I knew what had happened.

So I walked up to the stewardesses, both clamoring over the handbook, and tapped one on the shoulder.

"So, I had an iPod before I went to the bathroom, and now I don't. I think I know what's in the toilet."

We had a quick conversation. I told them, "You don't have to call the TSA or anything, it's just my iPod." They said, "Oh, but we already did."

...

"Folks, this is the captain. I don't want to alarm you, but we've found a suspicious device in the front lavatory. Now, we think it's probably nothing, but in this day and age ... you can never be too careful. We'll be landing at Ottawa, where we will await further instructions."

...

"Folks, this is the captain. We've been ordered to make an immediate stop. Buses are coming to evacuate the aircraft." We were to leave all of our belongings on the aircraft; we would be shuttled by bus to the terminal, where we would receive our carryon items.

...

It took them 45 minutes to round up not just a bus and air-stairs, but an army of police and customs vehicles. One of the stewardesses took me aside and whispered to me. "Get off the plane last, and talk to the constable."

So I did. I exited the plane last, and spoke to the Ottawa police officer waiting at the air-stairs. I told him that the device was my iPod, and he took down my license number.

I continued to the bus. After a brief wait, it did NOT take us to the terminal. It took us to some industrial facility, where they housed utility vehicles. There, in the open garage, we were instructed to sit and wait. And wait we did ... another 30 minutes or so.

...

Finally, five or six customs officers set up a table and made an announcement. "We will be interviewing each of you one by one. Please form a line. Before we have our chat, make sure you have your ID, passport, and customs information with you."

I got in line with the rest of the people, but shortly thereafter two police officers took me out of line. "Come with us."


Read the rest of the story here...
(via BoingBoing)

Update: "Flying the Paranoid Skies" - another passenger's first-person account of the incident, from the Ottawa Citizen.

Related: Ottawa Media Guide

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