Bomb Joke Spoils Flight; 7 Charged
By ANJO PEREZ
MANILA, Philippines — Seven Filipino tourists will spend their vacation in jail after making a joke that there was a bomb inside the Palawan-bound plane they were in Thursday.
Officers from the Philippine National Police Aviation Security Group (PNP-ASG) offloaded Mohammad Lacongan and six of his friends after the crew of Air Philippines flight 2P943 bound for Palawan identified the group as having made the bomb threat while onboard the flight.
Reports reaching the airport’s Media Affairs Division (MAD) disclosed that the Air Philippines flight was already at Taxiway Charlie in preparation for take-off at Runway 06 when the pilot in command, a certain Captain Flores, radioed the NAIA Ramp Control and requested for police assistance and permission to return to the terminal because one of their passengers reportedly claimed that there was an explosive device onboard the flight.
Ramp Control allowed the Air Philippines pilot to return to the terminal and allowed him to dock at Bay 107 which is an off-site boarding area separate from the terminal.
An “Emergency Plan 4” was immediately initiated by the airport authorities wherein the PNP-ASG Bomb Squad as well as fire trucks and medical teams were dispatched to the site.
Upon parking at Bay 107, all 177 passengers and seven crew were evacuated from the aircraft.
The bomb squad then unloaded all the luggage from its cargo hold then boarded the aircraft to scour the entire plane.
All of the cargoes were lined-up on the ramp and bomb-sniffing dogs from the PNP-ASG’s K9 unit started to check for explosives.
An exhaustive search of the plane’s cabin and cargo proved negative for explosives.
However, the PNP-ASG was forced to offload the group of seven and hold them for questioning.
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