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Tokyo passengers set off radiation detectors at O’Hare

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM

Passengers arriving this week on a flight from earthquake- and tsunami-ravaged Tokyo set off radiation detectors at O’Hare Airport, city officials acknowledged Thursday.

“We are aware that occurred [Wednesday]. We are working with Customs and Border Protection on this issue,” Aviation Commissioner Rosemarie Andolino said.

Officials declined to say what happened to the passengers, referring all questions to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Mayor Daley said the situation was “handled ... very professionally’’ by Homeland Security.

“The protection of the person coming off the plane is very important in regards to any radiation — especially within their families and anything else,” Mayor Daley said.

In an e-mail to the Sun-Times, Homeland Security spokesperson Jenny Burke also refused to answer specific questions about the O’Hare incident.

She simply stressed that no aircraft entering the United States has “tested positive for radiation at harmful levels’’ and that “travelers who manifest signs of radiation sickness are referred to health authorities and provided appropriate treatment.’’

Burke noted that out of “an abundance of caution,’’ U.S. Customs and Border Protection uses “several types of radiation detection equipment.’’

The New York Post reported that the same thing happened in Dallas.

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