Passengers boarded a flight at Chek Lap Kok without security clearance after pushing aside a guard, an inquiry heard yesterday. About 90 transit passengers entered a restricted area on July 25 and boarded a China Airlines flight unchecked, the Commission of Inquiry on the New Airport heard. Airport Authority management director Chern Heed told the commission the airline's ground staff escorted passengers on flight 651 from Singapore, which arrived at about 7.15pm, directly to the departure lounge without going through the usual transit procedure. Mr Heed said the airline ground staff and passengers ignored warnings from a guard not to pass and pushed him aside. 'The passengers should have gone through the arrivals process, gone through the transfer point, been screened and then boarded the plane,' Mr Heed said. 'But instead they [disembarked] into the departure hall - contaminated it.' He said the guard was watching the gate as its security doors had not been working properly. 'Well, what was he there for? What is a guard for, [one] that can be pushed over?' commission chairman Mr Justice Woo Kwok-hing asked, to laughter in the hearing room. Mr Heed said such guards were unarmed and were not there to 'wrestle' with passengers. He said the guard was overwhelmed by the large number of passengers who had dispersed by the time reinforcements arrived. The incident was reported to senior managers of China Airlines who recalled the plane shortly before 8.30pm. It was already taxiing. Mr Heed told the commission China Airlines had since been 'taken to task' over the incident. The inquiry will continue on Monday with the recall of the authority's outgoing chief executive, Dr Hank Townsend. Counsel for the commission want to cross-examine him further regarding evidence given by his top aides during the week that he knowingly gave incorrect information to Financial Secretary Donald Tsang Yam-kuen. Monday is Dr Townsend's final day of employment under contract to the authority.