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FBI Finds No Bomb On Plane Following Threat At DFW

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screen shot 2012 03 16 at 6 46 20 pm FBI Finds No Bomb On Plane Following Threat At DFW

DFW Airport authorities and the FBI investigate a bomb threat aboard a grounded United Express plane on March 16, 2012. (Credit: Haley Tatum/contributor)

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – An onboard bomb threat triggered a fruitless inspection of a United Express flight that landed at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport Friday afternoon.

LISTEN: DFW Airport spokesperson David Magana talks with KRLD’s LP. Phillips

DFW spokesman David Magaña said in a release that the flight left from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and landed safely at DFW around 3 p.m. on Runway 13R.

A crew member discovered a hand-written note on the bathroom mirror saying there was a bomb onboard.

“They started saying the lavatory was closed; no one could go back in there,” said Amy Tatum, a passenger. “They started asking people if they had been inside. That’s when we perked up and got a little bit concerned.”

About 66 passengers and crew were onboard the flight in question, United Express 5394. Magaña said all who were on the plane were taken to Gate 2 of Terminal E after they were interviewed. The plane was moved to an isolated area in the west portion of the airport and searched.

FBI interviews wrapped up at about 6:30 p.m., Magaña said.

“We had to line up in the field far away from the plane; lots of ambulances there,” Tatum said. “When we got off the plane weh ad to take all our carry-on bags and purses, everything, and line them up.”

A canine unit inspected the plane and luggage, but Magaña said the airport’s Explosives Ordinance Detection Unit also investigated and a Mobile Command Post was created to help with the event, as well. The search was finished by 4:50 p.m.

The runway where the plane landed has since been reopened. Magaña reported no impact to flights at DFW Airport. The FBI made no arrests, but said an investigation was ongoing.

“Whoever did it, I hope they get help, I hope, for whatever issues they have,” said Frank Bettencourt, an Orange County resident who flew in to visit friends. “I hope they pay for the price of the inconvenience of the airport and passengers onboard.”

The plane is now back in operation, Magaña added.

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