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Why A PlayStation Sent An Airport Into Lockdown

What would a PlayStation have to look like to be unrecognizable as a gaming console and perhaps mistaken for something else entirely? That's exactly what happened at Logan International Airport in Boston, Massachusetts on April 18, when a PlayStation was mistaken for a bomb by airport security. Gaming is no stranger to bombs — both as weapons in games, and in terms of financial and critical bombs — but the situation in Boston was entirely different. Passengers and staff were forced to evacuate the terminal while a bomb squad was called in to investigate the PlayStation. So what could have been so wrong with the console to make it appear to be an explosive? Well, it was apparently pretty gross.

Apparently, the PlayStation was deteriorated beyond its normal appearance, making it unrecognizable to the agents examining it and necessitating a call to the Massachusetts State Police bomb squad for a second opinion. The Hill reported that the PlayStation was initially found in a bag intended for a Delta flight, and that its unusual appearance in TSA scans raised red flags for those X-raying it.

While it's not unusual for airport officials to examine bags more closely, it's rare that one would mistake a video game console for something dangerous. Unfortunately, the mistaken console wasn't the most upsetting part of the story. Two other factors greatly influenced the energy at Logan International.

Authorities were already on high alert

It's no coincidence that authorities felt extra cautious on April 18. It was the ninth anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing, and just weeks after the Supreme Court upheld the death penalty for bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, according to CNN. It makes sense for Boston officials to feel on high alert the day of the Boston Marathon, and officials at Logan International went the extra mile to keep passengers safe by evacuating Terminal A to get a better look at the potential threat.

One Twitter user posted a video of the evacuation showed passengers moving towards an exit hurriedly as a voice said over the intercom that everyone must mandatorily leave the terminal. Another video showed passengers lined up outside the airport waiting to receive word about when they could enter the building again. Eventually, passengers were cleared to enter Terminal A again and resume business as usual, but some travelers were put off by the event as a whole. According to local news outlet WCVB,  some travelers missed flights, while others were only slightly inconvenienced. One passenger arrived at Logan International, only to get right back in their car when they saw panicked masses leaving the airport. The stress and pandemonium was real at Logan International — and for good reason, as the memory of the Boston Marathon bombing loomed over the day. However, the culprit was almost humorous.

The PlayStation incident wasn't the first entertainment "bomb threat" gone awry

It's still unclear what made the offending PlayStation resemble a bomb to Logan International security. The Hill explained that the console was in rough shape, but didn't specify what exactly alerted officials. Dave Procopio with the MSP released a statement explaining the situation and reassuring the public. He said, "The condition of the console caused abnormalities in the image produced when it was x-rayed, prompting the screeners' concern. During the investigation of the object and secondary sweeps of the area, passengers in Terminal A were evacuated." Procopio stated that passengers were allowed back into the terminal a little after 5 PM.

Some gamers brought up that Boston has a history of misidentifying bomb threats. In 2007, Boston officials believed that a PR stunt for the "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" movie was actually a terrorist threat to the city. Boston's various first responders spent time and money investigating the "Mooninite" artwork scattered across the city, which had been installed by video artists on behalf of Cartoon Network. Ultimately, Cartoon Network's general manager resigned and the company donated money to the city in an effort to repair their damaged relationship.

As of now, curious gamers don't know which exact PlayStation model upset officials, but they do have a fairly good idea that it's not a PS5, which has become even harder to find due to continued supply chain issues and production problems. Thankfully, no one was injured during the incident, and a spokesperson from Delta assured WCVB that it would attempt to reschedule any missed flights for customers affected by the PlayStation incident. PlayStation has not commented on the incident, and no one has been able to reach the owner of the gross PlayStation for comment. This may be a mystery one gamer has to take to their grave.