Newark's Cameras Failed during Breach

Crowds of people wait to take the escalator to the departure level after a security breach shut down Terminal C at Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, N.J., Sunday, Jan. 3, 2010. Authorities are searching for a man who walked through a screening checkpoint exit into the secure side of a terminal Sunday night at the airport, and flights were grounded and passengers being re-screened, an air safety official said. (AP Photo/Rich Schultz)
AP Photo/Rich Schultz
Federal agents weren't able to immediately retrieve surveillance images of a man who breached security at Newark Liberty International Airport because a camera system wasn't working properly.

John Kelly, a Port Authority of New York and New Jersey spokesman, said the camera at a security checkpoint was streaming live images but wasn't recording them.

That made it impossible for Transportation Security Administration personnel to check an image of a man seen walking in through an exit door Sunday evening until it could view tapes from a nearby Continental Airlines surveillance camera.

It was not known how long the camera at the TSA security checkpoint had stopped storing footage because archived images are only retrieved if an incident has occurred or is suspected, TSA spokeswoman Ann Davis said Tuesday. According to Davis, TSA will check the cameras' archiving daily.

The cameras were installed by the Port Authority about two years ago, and the agency maintains and operates them.

The incident shut down an entire terminal at the airport and stopped flights for six hours. The man, who has not been identified or located, was seen on a surveillance camera image leaving the terminal about 20 minutes after the security breach.