Jan. 24, 2008 -- Law enforcement sources told ABC News of a security breach that raises major questions about the ability of foreign governments to secure airplanes.
Two Ethiopian maintenance workers apparently stowed away in the ceiling of a trans-Atlantic flight that landed at Dulles International Airport, outside Washington, D.C., at 7 a.m. Wednesday.
The 17-hour flight was an Ethiopian Airlines flight from Addis Ababa, with a stopover in Rome.
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokeswoman Lynn Hollinger, Ethiopian Airlines officials contacted CBP at about 9 a.m. Wednesday, reporting that the two stowaways claimed to have made the journey while hiding in an overhead luggage compartment.
The compartment was located above the ceiling of the kitchen galley, out of sight of passengers.
Hollinger said the two men were both wearing Ethiopian Airlines uniforms, including identification badges. A contract security guard discovered them after the passengers disembarked.
The stowaways were taken by ground crews to a CBP inspection area at the airport, where they were interviewed by customs agents. They are seeking asylum and are currently in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody.
The discovery of the stowaways has security officials asking if people can stow away on a plane, how easy would it be to place a bomb on a plane.