UPDATE 3-Southwest flight diverted to Phoenix due to threat

Mon Jun 10, 2013 11:35pm EDT

By David Schwartz

PHOENIX, June 10 (Reuters) - A Southwest Airlines flight bound for Texas from Los Angeles with 143 passengers aboard was forced to land in Phoenix on Monday after a telephoned bomb threat and U.S. fighter jets were diverted to monitor the situation, authorities said.

Southwest Airlines flight 2675 landed safely in Phoenix, the state capital of Arizona, at about 3:30 p.m. local time (2230 GMT), and all passengers on board were taken off without incident, the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and Southwest said.

Phoenix police interviewed the passengers and bomb squad officers and dogs swept the aircraft. Police spokesman Sergeant Steve Martos later Tweeted that the search found "nothing of concern."

The Austin-bound flight was diverted at the request of the Los Angeles Police Department after an unidentified caller made a bomb threat against a commercial flight from Los Angeles to Texas, according to Southwest and the FBI.

Laura Eimiller, the FBI's spokeswoman in Los Angeles, said . an investigation was under way to determine who was responsible for the threat.

While the plane was in the air, F-16 fighter jets were diverted from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona to "monitor the situation from the air," said Michael Kucharek, a spokesman for the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), a joint U.S.-Canadian operation.

"It was serious enough that we diverted aircraft from their original flight plan," Kucharek told Reuters.

The Southwest Airlines aircraft - a Boeing 737-700 - was isolated at the airport away from the terminal after landing.

All the passengers were evacuated using airline steps and would be taken on to Austin "as soon as possible," Southwest Airlines spokeswoman Katie McDonald said.

Flights at Sky Harbor were arriving and departing as scheduled.

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (5)
Blondie72 wrote:
Sounds scarey. I hope they gave out Relax-V to anyone having anxiety from the stressful moments.

Jun 10, 2013 8:32pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Rainy2U wrote:
they need to give severe sentences to those they catch making bomb threats.

Jun 10, 2013 9:59pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Mickelenische wrote:
I see the NSA is saving us from ourselves again. Good thing the border is fully secure.

Jun 10, 2013 10:33pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.