Bomb threat prompts plane evacuation at LAX

The Associated Press
Monday December 31, 2001

LOS ANGELES – An airplane preparing for takeoff from Los Angeles International Airport was evacuated Sunday morning after the airline received a phoned bomb threat, authorities said. 

A bomb squad searched the plane and found no explosives, said Los Angeles Police Department spokesman Officer Jack Richter. 

The bomb squad and federal authorities were dispatched to LAX after the threat was called in at 6:52 a.m., said Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Jerry Snyder. 

ATA Flight 214 was bound for Chicago Midway with 184 passengers and seven crew members on board, Snyder said. It had been scheduled to depart at 6:35 a.m., but had not taken off when the threat was called in. 

Snyder said the threat, made directly to the airline, did not refer to any specific flight. 

“Apparently a male caller had called in a rather ambiguous question of whether or not there was a bomb aboard an aircraft,” Snyder said. It was not clear who the caller was or where he was calling from. 

Flight 214 was grounded and evacuated as a precaution because it was the only ATA flight departing LAX at the time, Snyder said. “Without any further information, there won’t be any further expansion to check other flights,” he added. 

Lisa Jacobson, public relations manager for American Trans Air Inc. in Indianapolis, said the airline would have no comment on the incident.