Fighter Jets Escort Two Passenger Planes To Atlanta Airport Following ‘Credible’ Bomb Threat

Just a few days after a bomb threat at New York’s John F. Kennedy International airport resulted in chaos, we now have reports of a similar threat in Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. According to the New York Times, several parts of the airport were closed as a precautionary measure after police received what they say were “credible” information regarding bomb threats against two commercial aircraft passing through the airport.

Earlier, CNN reported that F-16 fighter jets had escorted the two passenger planes to Atlanta after a bomb threat made via Twitter was deemed credible by authorities. The two flights affected by this bomb threat were Southwest Airlines Flight 2492 and Delta Flight 1156. While flight 2492 is a regular Southwest service between Milwaukee and Atlanta, Flight 1156 was travelling from Portland, Oregon to Atlanta.

Both the planes landed safely at the airport and were thoroughly inspected by authorities to check for explosives. Bomb disposal squads and canine units were on the scene soon after the planes landed at Atlanta. The bomb threats also meant that several areas within the airport terminal remained out of bounds to passengers, inconveniencing them. In a statement released by Delta Airlines, company spokesperson Morgan Durrant confirmed the development. He added that after landing, the plane was held at the tarmac while the passengers on board were escorted onto buses. A Southwest Airlines spokesperson added that passengers aboard Flight 2492 were taken to a remote area of the airport where they were re-screened.

Meanwhile, Preston Shlachter, a military spokesperson confirmed that a pair of F-16s were used to escort both the affected planes safely. He added that the fighter jets took off from McEntire Joint National Guard Base in South Carolina. He reiterated that the decision to scramble fighter jets following the bomb threat was done as a precautionary measure.

The F-16 fighter jets returned to their base after they safely escorted the planes to Atlanta. The investigation is on to see if there actually were explosives inside both the planes. Authorities are also looking for the person who made the threat.

[Image Via Wikimedia Commons]