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Flight grounded for hours in Vermont after bomb threat note is found in bathroom shortly before landing

A United Airlines plane in Vermont was grounded for hours after a note allegedly containing a bomb threat was found in the plane’s toilet. Shortly before landing on Sunday afternoon, officials said.

According to FlightAware data, the threat was reported on board Flight 3613, which had departed Newark, New Jersey and was scheduled to land at Burlington International Airport in Vermont at 4:30 p.m. ET.

About 20 minutes before landing, the flight’s crew notified air traffic control about a “danger to the aircraft,” Nick Longo, director of aviation at Burlington International Airport, said at a news conference.

A frozen flight at Burlington International Airport in Vermont on March 12, 2023.
A frozen flight Sunday at Burlington International Airport in Vermont.WPTZ

Although officials did not disclose the nature of the threat, the pilot reportedly spoke about a threatening note found in the toilet.

“A flight attendant just came over and said a passenger found a note … saying there was a bomb on board,” the flight’s pilot said in audio obtained by NBC affiliate WPTZ, which serves the Burlington area. Is.

Air traffic control initiated emergency response protocol. The plane landed and was directed to a “specific location” and law enforcement “assessed the situation,” Longo said.

Vermont State Police said their bomb squad was activated on Sunday to assist local authorities.

Officials said law enforcement ultimately determined that nothing unusual or suspicious was found, and 65 passengers were deplaned and briefed on the situation just after 7 p.m.

He was brought to the terminal to check out his luggage. Longo said no one was reported injured.

Longo said the airport was closed during the incident and reopened to all air traffic at 7:30 p.m.

Multiple agencies responded to the incident, including the Vermont State Police, the FBI, the South Burlington Police Department, and the Federal Aviation Administration.

When asked what the threat was, Burlington Police Chief John Murad did not reveal the details of the incident but said it was being investigated.

“This investigation is ongoing and at this time there is no reason to believe that this is an isolated incident,” Longo said.

United Airlines referred comment to Republic Airways, which operated the flight.

Republic Airways said in a statement that just before landing, the flight crew “became aware of a potential safety concern.”

“Out of the utmost care, the aircraft was towed to a remote location in Burlington and a precautionary safety check of the aircraft was performed with no findings,” the statement said.

“We thank local first responders for their prompt and professional response, and everyone for their patience and understanding,” the statement concluded.



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