Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Korean Air Flight Lands at B.C. Military Base after Receiving Bomb Threat: Korean Air Flight Diverted to B.C. Military Base

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Korean Air Flight Lands at B.C. Military Base after Receiving Bomb Threat: Korean Air Flight Diverted to B.C. Military Base

Article excerpt

COMOX VALLEY, B.C. - About 150 passengers were spending the night in area hotels after a bomb threat forced a Korean Airlines Boeing 777 to divert to Vancouver Island.

Authorities were continuing to search the aircraft early Wednesday and the RCMP said nothing suspicious had yet been found.

The flight, with 149 passengers on board, was travelling from Vancouver to Seoul when it was diverted to CFB Comox under the escort of two U.S. fighter jets.

The Canadian Forces said in a news release that the plane was diverted at about 5:30 p.m. PT, and all emergency services at the base were activated.

Korean Air said a U.S. call centre received the threat about 25 minutes after the flight took off from Vancouver. The airline said after discussion with the related departments they decided to turn the aircraft around.<

Korean Air spokeswoman Penny Pfaelzer said from Los Angeles that the caller warned that an explosive was on board the aircraft but had no additional details.<

RCMP Inspector Bryon Massie said everyone on board the aircraft were taken from the base and housed in local hotels.

"The passengers and crew have all been taken to hotels within the Courtenay-Comox area and they've been accommodated for the evening," he said.

Massie said that to his knowledge, nothing suspicious had yet been found.

"The investigation is ongoing, police resources are still at the scene."

A Korean Air official said earlier that the airline "is conducting a safety inspection now and will evaluate a new departure time after discussion."<

Massie said Korean Airlines was looking at a "contingency plan of bringing in a second aircraft" to take the passengers to their destination.

Two American fighter jets escorted the plane back to Comox shortly after it left Vancouver International Airport.

"It was two F-15s from Portland, Ore. that conducted the intercept," said Maj. Holly Apostoliuk from Winnipeg.<

Within the North American Aerospace Defence Command agreement, NORAD can deploy the appropriate fighters to respond to a situation, and in this case those were the most appropriate aircraft, said Apostoliuk. …

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