BOSTON (AP) – A cutting object was found on a U.S. Airways Express propeller plane on Tuesday afternoon at Boston’s Logan Airport.

“Our flight crew found a box cutter on the airplane, and then that was turned over to the authorities, and then the passengers boarded and the flight continued on to Syracuse, (N.Y.),” said Deborah Thompson, spokeswoman for U.S. Airways.

The crew discovered the object during a routine inspection of the plane, said Ann Davis, spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration.

“It was an inbound flight. There was no penetration through our security,” Massachusetts Port Authority spokesman Phil Orlandella said.

The TSA and the FBI were investigating the incident, Davis said.

The plane, US Airways Express Flight 4971, had arrived from Knox County Airport in Rockland, Maine, and had no passengers aboard when the blade was found, Davis said.

She said the plane was allowed to leave for its next destination at 5:15 p.m.

It was the second US Airways plane on which a cutting tool was found Tuesday.

Passengers were evacuated from a plane at Philadelphia International Airport on Tuesday after a box cutter was discovered aboard the flight, officials said.

The razor-blade tool was found at about 3:35 p.m. on a US Airways jet that had arrived from Houston and was about 20 minutes away from a scheduled departure for Phoenix, according to airport spokesman Mark Pesce.

“There was a security concern for both aircrafts. We’re cooperating fully with the TSA and the FBI,” David Castelveter said.

The plane from Philadelphia was a jet with about 80 passengers.

“There’s no reason to believe those incidents are related,” Davis said. “No one’s drawn any connections.”

Just over a week ago, Southwest Airlines had a security scare when 20-year-old Nathaniel Heatwole, was arrested and held without bail for hiding box cutters on two flights. Heatwole admitted the act in an e-mail he sent to TSA, saying he acted in civil disobedience to expose the weaknesses in U.S. security. He was released a week later and has a hearing on Nov. 10.

AP-ES-10-28-03 2259EST



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