Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

A computer outage affecting the system of processing arriving international travelers sparked extensive delays and long lines tonight at Los Angeles International Airport and other airports across the nation.

The problem started about 4 p.m. and lasted about 90 minutes, according to Jaime Ruiz of U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.

The outage affected Customs and Border Patrol “processing systems at air ports of entry in the United States,” Ruiz said.

The cause was not disclosed but the glitch was not thought to be “malicious in nature,” Ruiz said.

Immediate action was taken “to address the technology disruption,” he said.

“In the meantime, CBP officers processed international travelers using alternative procedures until systems were back online,” Ruiz said.

A passenger arriving at LAX told City News Service CBP agents had to manually input passport information, leading to long lines and thousands of people backed up at passport-control stations.

Similar delays were reported at other airports, including those in Boston, New York and Dallas.

NBC News, citing senior government officials, said the problem affected a Department of Homeland Security computer system that checks passengers against terrorism watch lists.

— Wire reports 

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