Security Breach Forces San Diego Destined Plane to Land in New Mexico
Delta Air Lines Flight #1706 from Detroit to San Diego was forced to make an immediate, unscheduled stop in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Sunday. The reason for the inconvenience was because of a security scare. However, authorities found “no suspicious devices” on the plane.
FBI spokesman, Frank Fisher, declined to divulge any information on the potential security threat. Whatever the unknown security threat was, Fisher said that agents stopped and searched the plane. In addition, the FBI interviewed the entire crew on the plane and its 107 passengers before clearing the aircraft to fly again.
Daniel Jiron, Albuquerque International Support spokesman, also declined to disclose what the potential security threat was. Nevertheless, Jiron did provide additional details. Jiron said, the flight was diverted at 10 a.m. MDT and cleared at 12:30 p.m.
The plane departed from Albuquerque, New Mexico at 4:23 p.m. and its expected arrival time was 5:15 p.m., PDT, in San Diego, California.
Despite the desire to keep everything under wraps by authority figures, Passenger Tim Cole, Age 55, from Hazleton, Pennsylvania described his experience on the plane. Cole told The Associated Press that the pilot told all passengers over the intercom that a note with the word “bomb” was found in one of the bathrooms.
At the Albuquerque airport, Cole said, “The captain came on and said: ‘You notice we’re declining. We’re getting ready to divert. It’s probably a hoax, but we’ve got to take this very seriously.’”
FBI agent Fisher was contacted by phone and email with repeated questions regarding the note but he refused to answer any questions.
Cole said he, along with the other passengers, were taken to a warehouse located at the airport. FBI agents and dogs searched everybody’s carry-on luggage. The agents also asked everyone a few questions and all passengers were given water, pizza and soda.
Cole mentioned that he actually understood and appreciated the delay saying, “I know some people were afraid but everybody was pretty good. I travel all the time, so you know, I’m just one of those people who says ‘What happens, happens.’ I’m really glad they take it so seriously.”
After clearance, the plane was authorized for departure, and reached its original destination safely.