(PHILADELPHIA) — A man is in custody after a US Airways flight to Dallas was ordered back to Philadelphia International Airport Thursday morning following a phoned-in threat of liquid explosives on the plane.
ABC News has learned that police in Philadelphia removed a man from the flight on its return, who is suspected of calling in the threat. Authorities are confident that there are no explosives aboard the plane and believe the person in custody issued the threat.
Philadelphia police received a call around 7 a.m. from a person stating that a specific individual had explosive liquid on him and was attempting to get it past Transportation Security Administration officials and onto the Dallas flight.
Authorities later discovered that the person implicated on the tip call was on the flight to Dallas that had departed at 7:39 a.m. and ordered it to return, according to ABC News’ Philadelphia affiliate WPVI-TV.
The man who was detained has not yet been identified, but has been described as a male in his 20s. The man is being questioned, his luggage was searched and no explosives were found.
Officers also questioned those passengers sitting closest to the man, who is believed to have issued the threat himself.
All 69 passengers and five crew members on Flight 1267 are safe.
“It was a hoax all the way through,” one official involved in the investigation told ABC News.
Philadelphia police officers, FBI bomb technicians and SWAT officers boarded the plane once it had landed and was moved to a safe location.
The flight was deemed safe and is expected to depart for its destination once questioning is complete.
“The plane returned as a precaution and it’s an ongoing investigation,” airport spokeswoman Victoria Lupica told ABC News. She added that the plane’s return has “no operational impact to other flights.”
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