Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 30 September 2014

UK passengers in plane threat drama

Passengers on board a US airways flight from Glasgow were evacuated at Philidelphia airport due to an unspecified threat (AP)

A plane from Glasgow to the US that was the target of a threatening note has been cleared by authorities.

The 157 passengers and six crew members aboard the US Airways plane were taken off the aircraft at its scheduled stop in Philadelphia shortly before it was due to fly on to Anchorage, Alaska.

Law enforcement and explosive experts searched the plane, flight 968, and found nothing amiss, a spokeswoman for Philadelphia Airport said. It was cleared for take-off for the next leg of its journey and passengers bound for Anchorage were due to reboard.

In a statement, the Transportation Security Administration said the investigation was launched because of a threatening note, but it did not provide details.

Airport spokeswoman Victoria Lupica said the information had been received in Europe and passed to authorities in the US.

She said: "The passengers were deplaned as normal in Philadelphia. Once we had deplaned the passengers the aircraft was towed to a remote area and checked thoroughly by the Transportation Security Administration and the police. All our law enforcement agencies were involved. We take any threat seriously."

She added that there would be delays for those passengers travelling on to Alaska.

Earlier, US Airways said the plane landed in Philadelphia at around 2.45pm US time on Friday (6.45pm UK time). The passengers bound for Anchorage boarded, but the plane was then evacuated.

A US Airways spokeswoman said on Friday night: "The Transportation Security Administration are looking into it. It is being handled by the proper authorities."

She did not know whether any passengers from Glasgow had already disembarked from the plane because Philadelphia was their final destination.

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