San Francisco Jetliner Gets Detained Due To Hijack Threat

August 20th, 2010 - 7:16 pm ICT by Pen Men At Work  

Jetliner August 20, 2010 (Pen Men at Work): An American Airlines flight was halted for hours in San Francisco on Thursday following a hijack threat. The security was called in while the airplane rested on the tarmac and the passengers had to disembark as the plane was searched thoroughly.

The FBI later admitted that the threat over telephone did not seem to be real but they could not take any chances. It was covered by the national television despite it being just a scare. People across the country still suffer from nerves even after the passage of so many years following the 9/11 incident. A number of airline scares last year has also left the US citizens shaken.

The law enforcement authorities are now investigating into the matter, trying to find out who the culprit was and what his motivation actually was.

The passengers reported that the security personnel had taken away a couple seated at the back of the airplane for questioning. They had, in fact, been removed in handcuffs. They were released shortly afterwards and allowed to re-board their flight.

The couple in question revealed to the Associated press that the police had taken them to be questioned after picking them at random. They, however, declined to reveal their identity to the press.

Some of the other passengers feel that they had been targeted on account of their appearance and had been observed to be carrying Pakistani passports.

The American Airlines Flight 24 was already a couple of hours behind schedule when it was again detained for a security check. It sat at a remote location of the tarmac at the San Francisco International Airport for an additional two hours. The flight had been carrying a total of 163 passengers and 11 crew members.

The atmosphere within the interior of the jetliner remained calm despite the frustration that some may have felt at the delay. The passengers were allowed to use the restroom but could not touch their overhead baggage. The police arrived later and escorted six passengers at a time to the police cars after scanning them and their hand held luggage.

Joseph Schadler, a spokesperson for the FBI said the two passengers who were taken away in handcuffs had been escorted separately but said that the reason could not be revealed now.

The hijack threat appears to have originated from somewhere in Alameda which is a city across the San Francisco bay said Lt. Bill Scott. The clerk calling from the Hampton Inn and Suites in the city said that the business had received a call which talked about a hijack threat to Flight 24. It was not very clear whether it was a hijack or a bomb scare said an officer.

The FBI stated that both the officers in charge as well as the Transportation Security Administration acted quickly and led the airplane onto a secluded area of the tarmac. The American Airlines also sent out a message of reassurance via its Twitter feed to all persons checking their Internet.

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