Philly police, FBI search plane from Ireland after bomb threat

There were some tense moments Wednesday afternoon at Philadelphia International Airport as passengers on an international flight learned a bomb threat was called in.

US Airways Flight 777 from Shannon Ireland bound for Philadelphia was diverted to a remote section of the airport after a bomb threat was called into the airport just over an hour before the plane was set to land.

Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Joseph Sullivan says the plane and its contents were quickly searched upon landing.

“We devised a strategy as to how we were going to respond to this and we made a decision to remote the plane,” he said. “We felt that due to an overabundance of caution — that’s exactly what it was in this case — we would remote the plane, depart the passengers, rescreen them and their carry-on luggage.”

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Nothing suspicious was found on the plane or among the 171 passengers.

FBI Special Agent Michael J. Messenger, who heads the domestic terrorism squad, said a search is on for the person who called in the threat.

“There could be substantial charges,” he said. “We have to work with the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Police and airport officials say they don’t have any specifics about the threat.

Sullivan said the incident did not shut down the airport.

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