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International Business Times UK
International Business Times UK
Sakshi Gupta

Flight Carrying 202 Passengers Forced To Make Emergency Landing After Reported Bomb Threat [Details]

The flight landed at O'Hare away from the terminal and was immediately surrounded by black vans | Photo: AFP (Credit: Reuters)

A United Airlines flight, en route to Los Angeles, was diverted to Chicago after a bomb threat was discovered in the plane's lavatory on Wednesday, as reported in the local media.

After United Flight 1533, carrying 202 passengers took off from Newark Liberty International Airport at 6:05 AM, the crew members reported the "security concern" before the pilot diverted the plane and safely landed at O'Hare Airport at 7:44 AM Chicago time, according to the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA).

The Boeing 787 landed at O'Hare away from the terminal and was immediately surrounded by black vans as all passengers and crew were evacuated.

An unidentified passenger revealed in an interview that after around two hours into the flight, the crew announced the plane would be diverting to Chicago, without giving any explanation. After which, the passengers were asked to remain confined to their seats.

Another unnamed passenger said in a television interview that the passengers were asked to leave their hand luggage on the plane and it was removed from the aircraft by law enforcement and searched.

"They are taking us back to a terminal I guess they will go through bags, maybe question us. We were forced to leave all of our stuff on the plane and have no idea what is happening next," the anonymous passenger said.

According to a preliminary police report on CBS, a note was found in the bathroom stating the plane would blow up. It is also being reported that a bomb-sniffing K-9 unit found one suspicious bag, and a robot was deployed to move it away.

Police were already present to attend to the scene when the flight landed, and they "cleared the scene", according to the Chicago Police Department.

The police dog connected a scent from the threatening note and the bag. However, a spokesperson from FBI Chicago said there was no "imminent" threat to the public, according to media reports.

"Early this morning, FBI-Chicago and local partners responded to an incident with an aircraft at O'Hare Airport. There is no indication that there is an imminent threat to public safety or the facility itself at this time," the statement read.

The same flight eventually took off with the passengers around 2:30 PM Chicago time for Los Angeles.

Earlier this week, a United Airlines flight travelling from San Francisco to Boston was forced to make an emergency landing in Denver after one of the plane's wings started breaking apart in mid-air. The incident happened with United Airlines Flight 354, carrying around 165 passengers on board the Boeing 757-200.

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