Flight Forced to Change Course Due to Bomb Threat

(ReliableNews.org) – In the wake of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack, security on planes became a top priority. The federal government created the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and even put Federal Air Marshals on some flights. Still, with all of the security measures, incidents still take place in the air.

On February 21, at 6:05 a.m., United Flight 1533 departed New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International Airport and headed for Los Angeles International Airport. However, instead of flying directly to its destination, the flight landed at 7:44 a.m. at O’Hare Airport in Chicago. More than 200 passengers and crew members were on board when it landed. 

CBS News reported that a preliminary police report stated that someone found a note in the plane’s restroom that said the aircraft was going to blow up. After the flight landed and was evacuated, a bomb-sniffing K9 boarded and found a suspicious bag. A source reportedly said the dog connected the note to the bag.

The police department used a robot to check the bag and move it away. They also questioned the owner of the bag. Passengers told reporters they were all told to leave their belongings on the plane when they were evacuated. 

Many passengers said they weren’t told what was happening. Ian O’Connor told reporters that the situation was “tense” because the airline employees told them while they were “in the air there [was] a situation” but didn’t tell them why, so everyone was thinking “the worst.”

Passenger Dick Fickling said he knew the flight was being diverted because he received an alert on his phone. He explained that when he looked around, everyone else seemed confused too, but said the crew didn’t go into details. It wasn’t until they began descending that there was an announcement that a “situation” occurred. 

The FBI’s Chicago office issued a statement saying there was “no indication” there was a threat to the public or the airport.

Copyright 2024, ReliableNews.org