Southwest passengers land in Austin after bomb threat


by TINA SHIVELY / KVUE News and Photojournalist KENNETH NULL

Bio | Email | Follow: @TinaS_KVUE

Posted on June 11, 2013 at 5:39 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 11 at 9:35 AM

AUSTIN -- More than 140 passengers on board a flight diverted to Phoenix after a bomb threat are back in Austin Tuesday morning.

The Southwest Airlines flight was headed to Austin from Los Angeles when the FBI says someone phoned in the threat. After a thorough check in Phoenix, no bombs were found.

The bomb threat was called in some time after the plane took off at around 2 p.m. Monday. That's when F-16's out of Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson were scrambled into the sky to monitor the flight and make sure it landed safely in Phoenix. It did so less than an hour later and was isolated a distance from the terminal. Passengers were bused to the terminal and waited there for hours.

Passenger Cari Patterson said she was frightened when she saw all of the security and emergency vehicles on the runway.

"My first thought was they were getting us out of the air because something is going on nationally like another 9/11. I'm just thankful, very thankful to be back in Austin and thankful that nothing really bad happened."

When the plane landed in Phoenix the passengers tell KVUE they were told over the PA system not to take anything off the plane and not to use their cell phones. They later learned that was for fear that a signal could detonate any device that might be on board.

There is no word yet on who made the bomb threat. The FBI continues to investigate.

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