China investigating phone threats that grounded 5 flights from 3 airlines

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Chinese police are investigating telephone threats that led to the grounding of five flights around the country.

The Civil Aviation Administration said no planes were in actual danger Wednesday but gave no details on the specific threats.

The flights were operated by Shenzhen Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, and Juneyao Airlines and originated in the cities of Shanghai, Lanzhou and Nanjing. The official Xinhua News Agency said three of the flights were cut short following the threats that began at 8 a.m. (0000 GMT) and the others delayed.

The Civil Aviation Administration said in a news release that the threats constituted the crime of transmitting "false terroristic information" and suspects were being pursued with all available resources. The crime is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.