Southwest Flight From LAX to Austin Lands at Sky Harbor Due to Bomb Threat
A Southwest flight that took off from LAX and was headed for Austin, Texas, landed at Sky Harbor after someone phoned in a bomb threat.
Statements released by airport officials indicate that the plane is isolated on one of the runways, as the 143 passengers were evacuated. Police were blocking access to the airport from Interstate 10, although the airport is still operating.
Aerial footage from local TV news stations shows what's apparently luggage still being removed from the plane.
According to a statement from the FBI, they don't immediately know who's responsible for ruining the day for the 143 on the plane, plus the crew, and everyone else.
"The FBI and law enforcement partners are responding to a telephonic bomb threat to an aircraft made this afternoon. The flight, destined for Texas, departed LAX at 2:12pm and was diverted to Phoenix for further investigation.
The flight landed safely in Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix and the aircraft is being directed to an isolated area at the airport. The FBI and law enforcement partners are responding to conduct an investigation of the aircraft, as well as to determine the person/s responsible for the threat."
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Our sister paper L.A. Weekly heard from an LAX spokeswoman that the threat was phoned in two minutes before 3 p.m., meaning it came in more than 45 minutes after the plane took off from LAX. We'll update this post as more information becomes available.
If you have to go to Sky Harbor today, here's the latest information from the airport:
Due to a Police investigation involving an aircraft at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, flights are taking off and landing only on the south side of the airport on Sky Harbor's two south runways. Sky Harbor is experiencing some flight arrival delays. If you're picking up a passenger at the airport, please check the flight status with the airline.
The investigation is also restricting roadway access on the west side of Sky Harbor. Please enter and exit on the east side of the Airport - use loop 202 or State Route 143.
If you're dropping off a passenger flying US Airways, Southwest Airlines or any airline that operates out of Terminal 4, you may drop off your passenger at the 44th Street and Washington Phoenix Sky Train station.
If you're dropping off a passenger flying out of Terminal 4, you may drop at the 44th Street &Washington PHX Sky Train station.
— PHX Sky Harbor(@PHXSkyHarbor) June 11, 2013
— Arizona DOT (@ArizonaDOT) June 11, 2013
UPDATE: All exits have been re-opened; Phoenix Police Sergeant Steve Martos says "nothing of concern" was found on the plane.