Bomb Threat on Spirit Airliner Forces Emergency Landing at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport
courtesy Spirit Airlines
A Spirit airlines flight that was headed to Minneapolis on Thursday night was forced to turn around and return to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport after a passenger made a bomb threat. According to Broward County Sheriff's Office, Spirit Flight 596, an Airbus A320, was carrying 92 passengers and landed safety shortly after midnight. All passengers onboard were evacuated, and no injuries have been reported.
Around 12:10 a.m., Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport's Twitter feed tweeted out the news that law enforcement was investigating "possible suspicious activity."
An MSP bound Spirit airlines flight has returned to FLL. Law enforcement is investigating possible suspicious activity.— Ft. Laud-Hlwd Int'l (@FLLFlyer) November 20, 2015
Passengers are being removed from the plane while police investigate.— Ft. Laud-Hlwd Int'l (@FLLFlyer) November 20, 2015
The flight had been in the air for about 15 minutes before it was forced to turn back. According to BSO, dogs were brought to sniff the luggage as passengers were forced to remain onboard. The bomb squad was also brought in to investigate the aircraft,
But authorities say there was no bomb. According to BSO, two men who were allegedly behind the threat were held for questioning, but no arrests have been announced. The FBI and Transportation Security Administration are going to interview the men with the cooperation with BSO, according to Sheriff's Office spokesperson Keyla Concepcion.
Some passengers who remained to stay were eventually flown to Minneapolis on a flight early Friday morning.
Spirit Airlines released a statement following the incident.
"Spirit Airlines Flight 596 from Fort Lauderdale to Minneapolis returned to the gate this evening after 15 minutes in the air," the statement reads. "The flight crew decided to return to the gate because of a security issue on board. The Broward Sheriff’s Office is now on scene and will be in charge of any law enforcement investigation at the airport."
This is the second time this week a fake bomb threat forced the evacuation. On Wednesday, a Palm Tran bus was forced to stop and evacuate after a man who exited the bus said there was a bomb onboard. Police were forced to shut down traffic as they investigated. No bomb was found in that incident either.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss New Times Broward-Palm Beach's biggest stories.