American Airlines plane makes unscheduled landing at Washington's Dulles Airport after threatening note found

Tuesday, October 30th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ FBI agents are investigating a written bomb threat found aboard an American Airlines plane that prompted the pilot to make an unscheduled landing at Washington Dulles International Airport.

Three of the plane's 141 passengers suffered minor injuries Monday night while sliding down emergency chutes. No bomb was found.

The Boeing 757 plane, American Flight 785 en route to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport from New York's La Guardia Airport, landed just after 7 p.m., according to officials at the airport in suburban Virginia, 25 miles west of Washington.

A recorded statement by American Airlines spokesman Gus Whitcomb said the plane was diverted after a passenger found a suspicious note. A government official speaking on condition of anonymity said the note was a bomb threat.

FBI spokesmen Chris Murray would not comment on whether the plane was ever in danger.

Immediately after the plane landed it was directed to a remote part of the airport and surrounded by police vehicles.

The injured passengers, who suffered bruises, sprained ankles and back pain, were taken to nearby Reston Hospital, according to hospital spokeswoman Denise Dancy.

After the plane landed, two airport runways were closed for an hour and 40 minutes while investigators searched the plane with bomb-sniffing dogs.

Following the search, the airport resumed normal operations.

American Airlines sent most of the diverted passengers on another plane to Texas late Monday night.