Hoax bomb threat made against several airliners, prompts US Airways flight evacuation

By Andrew V. Pestano
Hoax bomb threat made against several airliners, prompts US Airways flight evacuation
A hoax bomb threat prompted the evacuation 88 passengers and five crew members aboard a US Airways flight in Philadelphia, Pa. File Photo by Chris Parypa Photography/Shutterstock

PHILADELPHIA, June 2 (UPI) -- A US Airways flight was evacuated and searched after it landed at Philadelphia International Airport on Tuesday morning, as the result of a string of bomb threat hoaxes.

US Airways flight 648 from San Diego, Calif., was subject to a police investigation soon after it landed at about 6 a.m. when the Transportation Security Administration received a phone call threatening a bomb attack.


"The TSA Operations Center in Washington D.C. had received a phone threat stating that there was an explosive device on the plane," Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Joe Sullivan said.

The Philadelphia airport declared a bomb threat and the plane was moved to a safer location "out of an abundance of caution," Sullivan said. There were no reported injuries.

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The Philadelphia Police Bomb Squad and a K-9 team were deployed to sniff out for any dangerous material on the passengers and aboard the plane.

"There was nothing dangerous aboard the plane... it was a hoax phone threat," Sullivan added.

The Airbus 320 was carrying 88 passengers and five crew members. Federal and local investigators are looking to find the source of the phone call.

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Other bomb threats were made Tuesday, but deemed not credible.

Delta Air Lines Flight 55, United Airlines Flight 995 and Volaris Flight 939, a Mexican carrier, were threatened but landed safely.

Korean Air Flight 23 from Seoul to San Francisco was also threatened but is scheduled to land Tuesday afternoon.

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Almost a dozen hoax threats have been made on planes in the past two weeks, mostly on flights coming into the United States from other countries.

The Department of Homeland Security announced on Monday that an internal investigation on the TSA revealed that undercover agents managed to get weapons through airport security in 67 out of 70 tests.

The findings prompted Homeland Security Secretary Jeh C. Johnson to reassign Melvin Carraway, the acting head of the TSA, to another post within DHS.

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