Hundreds of passengers had to be rescreened and at least eight flights were delayed after a TSA agent at New York's JFK airport accidentally let people pass through an unplugged metal detector.

Two flights had to be called back to Terminal 7 and their passengers had to undergo rescreening after Transportation Security Officer Alija Abdul Majed noticed the lane he had been working was operating with a non-functioning metal detector.

"The truth is, this is the failure of the most basic level of diligence," a law-enforcement source told the New York Post. "How can you expect the public to feel confident of the mission of the TSA if they don't even know if the lights are turned on?"

Majed was reportedly unable to determine how the machine came to stop operating nor how many people had been screened before the blunder became apparent.

Some eight to ten flight were delayed during the terminal shutdown, which lasted two hours. The TSA said in a statement that a metal detector has malfunctioned, but refused to elaborate.

Screeners at JFK said today that "supervisors are not happy," and are "double- and triple-checking" agents in an effort to avoid a repeat of last week's embarrassment.

[photo via AP]