Bomb threat diverts LA-bound United flight to Chicago

A United Airlines flight traveling to Los Angeles was diverted to Chicago after a bomb threat was reported on the plane Wednesday morning.

The United Flight 1533 had 202 passengers and nine crew members and took off from Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey. It was diverted to O’Hare International Airport in Chicago after a note was found in the bathroom that the plane would blow up, CBS News reported.

A bomb-sniffing K-9 found a suspicious bag, and a robot was deployed to move it away. Police are questioning the person who checked the bag, the outlet reported.

United said it was diverted due to “a potential security concern,” but an airline source told CBS that the dog connected a scent from the note to the bag.

“The flight landed safely and met local law enforcement upon arrival. Customers deplaned and we expect the flight to depart for Los Angeles this afternoon,” United said in an emailed statement.

A passenger told CBS News that he boarded a bus with police after they were evacuated from the plane at a remote location of the airport.

He said that police were “taking us back to a terminal I guess they will go through bags, maybe question us.” He said the passengers were forced to leave all of their belongings on the plane and “have no idea what is happening next.”

Another passenger told CBS that the flight was rescheduled for Chicago time. The outlet reported that the FBI was investigating.

The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed that the flight landed safely at 7:40 a.m. local time after a crew member reported the security issue.

The FBI’s Chicago field office said its agents responded to “an incident with an aircraft at O’Hare Airport” early Wednesday morning.

“There is no indication that there is an imminent threat to public safety or the facility itself at this time,” it said, adding there was no further information available to release at the time.

Updated: 1:53 p.m.

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