Bomb Threat Perpetrator May Have Signed Own Confession
Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw
The discovery of a bomb threat on an international flight, handwritten on a surface in the plane’s toilet, led to the flight being diverted and all passengers ordered to supply handwriting samples for police analysis.
United Airlines flight UA-971 from Rome’s Fiumicino airport, bound for Chicago and carrying 214 passengers and crew, diverted to Ireland’s Shannon Airport after a message was discovered in a toilet claiming there was a bomb aboard.
Crew made a ‘Mayday’ distress call and informed air traffic controllers they wished to divert to Shannon Airport, the Irish Times reported.
The B767-300 dumped fuel to reduce weight before coming in to land. Once on the ground, all passengers were moved to hotels for the night. Cabin baggage and hold luggage was removed for security screening.
Police then began the lengthy process of taking handwriting samples from each passenger to establish who had written the message.
An airline spokesperson said: “United flight UA971 en route to Chicago from Rome, diverted to Shannon following a potential security concern. Additional security screenings will be performed on all customers and baggage, and we will work to get customers on their way to Chicago as quickly as possible.”
Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief
An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.