Panic erupted today when emergency respondents rushed to the John F. Kennedy International Airport after receiving reports of a bomb threat on Flight 67 plane of American Airlines, heading in from Barcelona, Spain.
In the original statement given by a spokeswoman for the airline, it was revealed that the Boeing 767 was landed at the airport on Sunday afternoon due to a security concern. The unspecified threat that forced the landing was not reported until later to prevent alerting the 200 passengers, who were just informed to pick up their carry-on luggage and proceed to exit the airplane immediately.
The ordeal seems to have originated from an anonymous phone call made to the Port Authority Police Department that announced the threat without giving any other detail. The authorities quickly characterized it as being a bomb threat so measures were taken within minutes. The airline’s spokesperson insisted that there are no additional details to be given on neither the call nor the caller and that the safety of the passengers and plane crew was the crucial action point.
By the time the plane was being evacuated, more than 12 emergency response vehicles, including police bomb squads, fire trucks and K-9 units, had surrounded the craft as a response to the alerting phone call. After safely extracting all of the passengers from the premises and securing their trip back to the terminal in special buses, the plane was pulled to a remote hangar and investigated thoroughly by the security officials for nearly two hours using dogs to search each piece of luggage from the plane repeatedly.
No explosives were found after the 2-hour long search, but as a safety precaution the airport was cleared. There have been no reports of injuries. Currently, there is an investigation ongoing on the source of the call. The Port Authority Police Department of New York and New Jersey has assured the press that all is now clear and the airport’s activity will resume as normal as soon as possible.
One of the passengers, Jacob Rosenberg, updated his Twitter with news of the situation’s progress and suggested in his most recent one that the Port Authority police suspect the threat may have been tied to a demand for money.