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HomeGeneralAuthorities Divert United Flights Bound for L.A. to Chicago Over Bomb Threat

Authorities Divert United Flights Bound for L.A. to Chicago Over Bomb Threat

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Picture of a Diverted Flight
Source: CBS Chicago/YouTube

Passengers were onboard a routine flight from Newark Liberty International Airport to Los Angeles International Airport when suddenly, there was a change. The flight, scheduled for a smooth cross-country trip, was abruptly diverted to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport due to a bomb threat. The flight had to make an emergency landing following the security threat.

United Airlines Flight 1533, carrying 202 passengers, departed from Newark Liberty International Airport at 6:05 a.m. The flight smoothly traveled the skies and touched down at O’Hare International Airport at 7:44 a.m. local time in Chicago. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the flight completed its journey ahead of schedule.

Authorities confirmed that passengers were safely evacuated from United Airlines Flight 1533. The aircraft was relocated to a remote area at O’Hare International Airport for a thorough search. 

A passenger aboard United Airlines Flight 1533 took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to report the incident. According to the passenger’s post, someone allegedly entered the aircraft’s restroom and reportedly made a bomb threat on the bathroom window. All passengers were instructed to leave their belongings onboard the plane as a precautionary measure.

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ALSO READ: Authorities Evacuate Multiple State Capitols Over Mass-Email Bomb Threats 

The FBI’s Chicago office investigating the matter said, “There is no indication that there is an imminent threat to public safety or the facility itself at this time.” Based on a preliminary police report, authorities discovered a note in the aircraft’s restroom indicating a threat to detonate the plane. 

In response, law enforcement deployed a bomb-sniffing K-9 unit, which detected a suspicious bag. As a precautionary measure, a robot was employed to move the bag safely away from the aircraft. Subsequently, police questioned the passenger who had checked the bag as part of their investigation into the incident.

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According to an airline source, a bomb-sniffing K-9 unit detected a scent that linked the threatening note to the suspicious bag identified during the investigation. Another passenger recounted being escorted by police onto a bus to be transported back to the airport terminal. 

During this process, passengers’ belongings were checked as part of the investigation. “They are taking us back to a terminal. I guess they will go through bags, maybe question us,” the passenger said. “We were forced to leave all our stuff on the plane and have no idea what is happening next.”

ALSO READ: Boston Officials Arrest Man Threatening to Bomb Jewish Synagogues

Another passenger spoke about the evacuation process. He confirmed that passengers were required to leave all their belongings behind on the aircraft. “I would say two hours in, they said we were making an emergency landing in Chicago; they didn’t say why,” the passenger said. “We couldn’t get out of our seats, so when they landed, they said that someone had written on the mirror in one of the bathrooms that there was a bomb.”

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Some passengers described feeling fear, confusion, and frustration with the situation. Passenger Ian O’Connor said, “It was just tense because when they tell you in the air there is a situation and don’t identify what that situation is, you think the worst.”

The FBI has not provided further details regarding whether any arrest was made in connection with the bomb threat. They have not disclosed any findings related to the investigation conducted onboard United Airlines Flight 1533.

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