3 Southwest planes searched in bomb scare

Three Southwest Airlines jets were searched for explosives after an unspecified threat was made.
May 9, 2012 1:06:36 AM PDT
Authorities searched three different Southwest Airlines jets for explosives late Tuesday evening, but nothing suspicious was found.

One jet, Flight 811, returned to the gate at Orange County's John Wayne Airport after officials learned of an unspecified threat around 8:30 p.m. They isolated the plane and a bomb squad then determined the jet was safe.

A Spokeswoman for Southwest Airlines told us that one threat was made, but it was non-specific. Southwest Airlines decided to check out three flights that were leaving John Wayne Airport, bound for Phoenix. Flight 1184 was cleared after it landed safely in Phoenix and passengers were allowed to deplane after that flight was cleared. Flight 372 was held at the Phoenix airport after it landed and was later cleared.

Southwest Airlines cancelled Flight 811, after it was cleared because it would have had to leave past curfew at John Wayne Airport. Those passengers will be placed on other flights to Phoenix in the morning.

The FBI is leading the investigation into the threat involving the three flights.

A spokeswoman for the FBI released a statement saying, "The Joint Terrorism Task Force in Orange County responded to a threat made to Southwest Airlines Flight 811, which was scheduled to depart John Wayne Airport, destined for Phoenix. As a precaution, the aircraft was isolated and passengers removed and brought to a gate. A bomb squad and canine units from the Orange County Sheriff's Department and Orange County Fire Authority searched and cleared the aircraft. More than one threat to Southwest Airlines aircraft is under investigation, to include a threat involving a separate aircraft located at Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix. Law enforcement in Phoenix has also cleared that aircraft. Investigators in Orange County and Phoenix are investigating whether the threats are linked. Due to the late hour, passengers scheduled to depart on Flight 811 from John Wayne Airport to Phoenix may depart in the morning."


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