Published January 13, 2015
PHOENIX -- A Delta Air Lines flight from Detroit to San Diego was diverted to Albuquerque, N.M., on Sunday because of a security scare but authorities found "no suspicious devices" on the plane, an FBI spokesman said.
Agency spokesman Frank Fisher declined to clarify the nature of the "potential security threat" that caused Flight 1706 to land in New Mexico. He said agents searched the plane and interviewed the crew and 107 passengers before clearing the aircraft to fly again.
Albuquerque International Sunport spokesman Daniel Jiron also declined to say what the potential threat was. No one was arrested.
The flight was diverted at 10 a.m. MDT, and Jiron said it was cleared to fly again around 12:30 p.m.
The plane took off from Albuquerque at 4:23 p.m. and was expected to arrive in San Diego at 5:15 p.m. PDT.
Passenger Tim Cole, 55, of Hazleton, Penn., told The Associated Press that the pilot told passengers a note with the word "bomb" on it was found in one of the plane's bathrooms.
"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,"' Cole said from the Albuquerque airport.
Fisher did not answer repeated questions by phone and email about the note.
Cole said he and the other passengers were brought to a warehouse at the airport, and FBI agents and dogs searched everyone's carry-on luggage.
He said an agent asked him only a couple of questions, and that all passengers got water, soda and pizza.
"I know some people were afraid but everybody has been pretty good," he said. "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."
Also Sunday, a Continental Airlines flight from Houston to Chicago was diverted to St. Louis after a passenger tried to open the plane's door midflight. The passenger was taken into custody.