Passenger with broken wrist blocked at Lambert after cast allege - KMOV.com

Passenger with broken wrist blocked at Lambert after cast allegedly contains 'explosive materials'

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Anne Alerding endured a nightmarish day of travel after her cast set off TSA alarms. (Credit: KMOV) Anne Alerding endured a nightmarish day of travel after her cast set off TSA alarms. (Credit: KMOV)

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- Monday was a nightmarish day of travel for a Virginia woman trying to get home through St. Louis’ Lambert Airport.

Anne Alerding, a professor at Virginia Military Institute who teaches plant biology, was in town for a conference of soybean growers.

Sunday night, she slipped outside her hotel and broke her wrist. She was treated at DePaul Hospital and got a cast for her broken bone.

But when she tried to go through security at Lambert Monday morning, a machine detected "explosive residue" on her cast.

“They wanted me to unwrap it and when they got to the thick cast part where my broken arm was just underneath it, then they said I should probably stop, Alerding said. “But there's nothing I can do at that point and they kicked me out.”

DePaul Hospital uses Dynacast, which is commonly used by hospitals and does not include any chemicals which would be considered explosive.

A spokesperson for the TSA says agents cannot tell someone to remove a cast in screening but if alarms are repeatedly tripped, they can't clear the passenger to fly.

With the break still fresh, Alerding was unsure about getting the cast remade in order to comply with the TSA scan.

“I'm  a little nervous about going through and tinkering with what he did,” she said Monday. “He did such a great job last night setting it.”

But after it became clear she would be stuck in St. Louis without replacing the cast, she headed back to the hospital.

While doctors at DePaul kept the hard cast in place they replaced the outer wrap.

Unfortunately, when Alerding went through screening Monday afternoon, the machine once again detect "explosive residue".

The cast was given a closer look, with agents used the wand for metal detection.

Alerding was eventually cleared and boarded a flight to Charlotte where she'll connect to her flight to Roanoke, Virginia.

The TSA said incidents like Alerding’s are extremely rare.

The last time a passenger was not allowed through a security screening at Lambert was more than three years ago.

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