OT Gun Goes Off on Alaska Air Flight

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- A gun discharged in a baggage compartment on an Alaska Airlines flight while the plane was on the ground, but no one was injured.

The bullet from a .357-caliber Ruger went from the cargo hold into the passenger area and lodged in a diaper bag Monday night on Flight 101, Port of Portland spokesman Doug Roberts said.

The 737 jetliner was scheduled to depart Portland International Airport for Anchorage, Alaska, Roberts said. The crew and 86 passengers on board were transferred to another plane.

Passenger Betty Jean Smith, 66, of Eagle River, Alaska, was charged with reckless endangerment and concealing a weapon without a permit. She was released to relatives in Vancouver, Wash. The gun was one of two stored in her bag.

-- viewer (justp@ssing.by), April 25, 2000


You've gotta' like a 66 year old woman that packs two guns.

-- gilda (jess@listbot.com), April 25, 2000.

How exactly does a gun go off from a cargo hold? [I seriously don't know.]

-- Anita (Anita_S3@hotmail.com), April 25, 2000.

How exactly does a gun go off from a cargo hold? [I seriously don't know.]

Easy. It happens when one of the baggage personel rifles through the luggage looking for valuables to steal.


-- TECH32 (TECH32@NOMAIL.CON), April 25, 2000.

I heard that the baggage handler had thrown the suitcase into the baggage hold and the impact caused the gun to fire. No wonder some of my suitcases have come out broken up.

Now lets see if The charges and punishment she recieves is the same as charges and punishment as, say, a young, non-white male.

-- Cherri (sams@brigadoon.com), April 25, 2000.

Just FYI, it is a violation of Federal law and (as I recall) a violation of the standard Contract of Carriage to do what the lady did. In fact, carrying pepper spray on board an airliner is verboten, as well.

I don't travel with firearms, but my brother, who likes to take hunting vacations, does. He always packs his firearms and ammo separately in locked hard cases. I seem to recall that he also _tells_ the ticket agent what's in the cases before he checks them, and I believe they get special tags and _gentle_ handling.

Best to err on the side of caution, I think.

-- Sal Monella (too.much@lawschool.net), April 26, 2000.

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