Plane Forced To Make Emergency Landing At PHL Due To Threat - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Plane Forced To Make Emergency Landing At PHL Due To Threat

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PHILADELPHIA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT -

"There was a telephonic phone threat; it was received by airport communications. It was explosive in nature,"says Joseph Sullivan of the Philadelphia Police. Philadelphia police say the threat was specific to flight 777 bound for Philly from Shannon, Ireland.

It was a very scary afternoon for the 171 passengers aboard U.S. Airways flight 777. Passengers aboard that flight were notified shortly after the plane landed that their plane had been the apparent target of a bomb threat that was phoned in to airport police about 12:45 p.m.

We were one of the first crews on scene. The plane landed safely just after 2:00 p.m. The 757 stopped in a remote area of the tarmac. Other inbound planes were told to circle the airport while police cleared the plane. Some were delayed more than an hour.

Passengers on board flight 777 knew something was up when SWAT teams and K9 units surrounded the plane along with a slew of emergency vehicles.

"The captain did come on and say there is a problem and not to be worried. We will be let out slowly. The dogs are here. There was a bomb threat," recalls Anna Marie Tumulty, a passenger. "It was a little eerie that all of those emergency vehicles were for us."

"Tons of cop cars just coming by and dogs and everything, and I was sitting next to a little eight year old boy. I was trying not to freak out because I didn't want him to freak out or anything," says Molly Cross of Baltimore, Maryland.

"I looked out the window and saw dogs sniffing the bags and police out there. Whew," says Claire Talty of Gallway, Ireland.

The passengers were led off the plane and put on to buses. One man was taken by ambulance after an unknown medical issue.

Although the plane went through customs before it left Ireland. Bags were searched again. And some were interviewed by the FBI.

"They asked us how long we were there for. For me since I was alone, they were asking me who we were staying with. Made any enemies? That kind of thing," says passenger Molly Cross.

About half of those passengers continued on to connecting flights. The other half picked up their luggage on their way out within the last hour. We stopped to talk with a couple of them about their scary landing.

"Going through my mind is exactly what I think would go through anybody's mind: what is going on? what's is going to happen?" says Eileen Delia of Northeast Philadelphia. "And you think about your family and you wonder, what they're hearing."

Some family members heard about the threat in news reports on their way to the airport. For molly cross's mother, she's happy to see her daughter on the ground safe.

"Of course nervous," says Rona Cross. "Just glad she's home safely. My other daughter is leaving for Spain in 3 weeks, so I'm a little nervous."

Police say their job was made a little bit easier because this flight was actually screened. The plane and the passengers had a complete security screening once this plane left Shannon, Ireland. But right now, the FBI is involved. They are frantically trying to figure out who may have called in this threat and why.

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