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Bomb Threat Discounted at LAX

Plane Sat on Tarmac for 4 hours Before Passengers were cleared to disembark


Screengrab of the subject American Eagle plane, at the Southwest Corner of LAX

5/24: A phoned in bomb threat made an American Eagle jet that landed with 80 passengers on board at LAX sit on the runway for about an hour, before disembarking passengers and luggage.

The American Eagle Flight 5931, operated by Compass Airlines, originated Houston George Bush Intercontinental and landed at LAX shortly before 9 a.m. scheduled, according to American Airlines.

"The plane is sitting at a remote gate and airport police and their canine units are checking it out along with the L.A. fire department," Los Angeles Airport Police spokesman Charles Pannunzio said.

An armed SWAT team entered the aircraft. Following a preliminary sweep of the interior, they told passengers to disembark from the jetliner about 10 a.m. Bomb-sniffing dogs met the passengers at the bottom of the stairway to check them before they were allowed to board shuttle buses.

American Airlines spokeswoman Polly Tracey said the threat was "non-credible" but LAX authorities are screening the flight "out of an abundance of caution."

Pannunzio could not confirm the exact nature of the threat, but several media outlets have reported it as a phoned in bomb threat.

Update: The FBI brought a canine on board, who apparently cleared the plane of explosives. 1 hour after it landed, the passengers were allowed to disembark and eventually, to claim their luggage, and leave LAX.

The government confirms that two F-16 jets escorted the plane briefly, before it landed. They said they now believe the bomb threat was simply a hoax.


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