Bomb Threat Evacuates Parts of DFW Terminal A

No explosives found on American Airlines flight from Austin

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A caller told the Austin airport that a bomb was on board an American Airlines flight, but no explosives were found on the plane at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

    Portions of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport's Terminal A were evacuated Wednesday night because of a bomb threat to an American Airlines flight.

    The Transportation Security Administration said two American Airlines flights between Austin-Burgstrom International Airport and DFW Airport were threatened. However, American Airlines said the threat was directed at Flight 1072 and that a different flight was checked on the ground in Austin as a precaution.

    A threat was also made to an Air Canada flight between Austin and George Bush International Airport in Houston, the TSA said.

    All three flights landed without incident, the TSA said.

    No Explosives Found on Flight

    DFW Airport said the threat against Flight 1072 was received after passengers had deplaned.

    The flight's 108 passengers and five crew members arrived from Austin at about 6:53 p.m. as scheduled. The plane taxied into Gate 19 at Terminal A, DFW Airport said.

    The plane was towed to an isolation area for screening. Airport police and canine units did not find anything suspicion in two sweeps of the MD-80.

    A flight attendant who was on the plane said most of the passengers had already gotten off the plane when airport security told the flight crew to also deboard so the plane could be searched.

    "We walked off the aircraft, and then there was a policewoman," Shelia McBain said. "She came down on a Segway and said, 'Please get off the aircraft. Go down to the end of the jump bridge as soon as possible. There's been a bomb scare.'"

    McBain said authorities had everyone move down about three gates.

    Traveler Renee Maddox was sitting on a plane parked near Flight 1072 when emergency crews started to arrive.

    "You could see the plane out there," she said. "It wasn't very far from the actual terminal and the gate that extends down. There were lots of police cars and firetrucks mostly surrounding it."

    Travelers Evacuated From Parts of Terminal A

    DFW Airport security cleared an area around gates A19 and A20 and moved travelers to other gates while they screened Flight 1072's aircraft. The gates were closed for about 90 minutes.

    Confused travelers worked to get to other terminals to find their rescheduled flights.

    "People are just gorging from the terminals and trying to get to the place where they need to be," traveler Mary Kay Liston said. "It's chaos."

    The security checkpoint near Gate A21 was closed until about 9 p.m.

    Flight 1072 continued on to Philadelphia International Airport on a different aircraft.

    DFW Airport officials said operations continued as normal in other terminals as well as the other Terminal A gates.

    Initial Confusion About Flights That Were Threatened

    Austin-Burgstrom International Airport initially said a caller to the airport's main telephone line said two separate bombs were on two different planes headed to the Dallas area.

    The Austin airport said American Airlines Flight 872 was one of the two flights. However, the airport later said the caller did not threaten that flight.

    An Austin airport representative said the airport at first thought the caller was referring to Flight 872, which had not yet taken off, when he said that a bomb was on a flight headed to Dallas/Fort Worth. But the caller later confirmed that he was talking about Flight 1072, which was already en route when the call came in.

    The Austin airport said it still checked Flight 872, which was still at the gate, even though it was not the flight the caller threatened. The plane was checked and cleared before it departed for DFW Airport.

    Austin airport spokesman Jason Zeilinski also originally said that the threatened flight that was already in the air -- which he did not identify -- was on its way to Dallas Love Field.

    Love Field officials said none of its flights received any threats.

    Last week, San Antonio International Airport was evacuated because of a bomb threat. No explosives were found.