The Korea Herald


Korean Air passenger jet diverted after bomb threat

By Shin Hyon-hee

Published : April 11, 2012 - 20:04

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A Korean Air passenger jet heading to Seoul made an emergency landing at a Canadian Air Force base after receiving a bomb threat, the country’s flag carrier said Wednesday. 

A Korean Air Boeing 777 rests on the runway of a Canadian Forces base in Comox, British Columbia on Tuesday April 10, 2012. (Yonhap News) A Korean Air Boeing 777 rests on the runway of a Canadian Forces base in Comox, British Columbia on Tuesday April 10, 2012. (Yonhap News)

Its Boeing 777-200 was diverted at around 7:40 a.m. Korean time when the airline’s U.S. call center received the threat by phone 25 minutes after it departed from Vancouver, a company spokesperson said from Seoul. A Korean Air spokesperson in Los Angeles said the caller warned that an explosive was aboard the airliner.

All the 134 passengers and 12 crew members landed safely at the Comox air base on the east coast of Vancouver Island, some 182 kilometers northwest of the city, the Korean official added.

“We decided to turn the plane around after receiving a threat call for the safety of the passengers,” the spokesperson said.

“Officials there are searching the plane currently and we will return to normal operations shortly after the safety check.”

The official did not give an exact timeframe for the flight’s resumption, saying discussion was under way.

The flight was escorted by two U.S. F-15 fighter jets that had been scrambled from Portland, according to Canadian officials.

They added that another jet on the same flight out of Vancouver faced a similar threat by phone Monday, prompting a two-hour search.

The threats come as carriers including Korean Air, Japan Airlines, Garuda Indonesia and Delta Airlines are jostling to alter some of their routes to avoid a rocket North Korea plans to launch sometime between Thursday and Monday.

Seoul and its other Asian counterparts have instructed their ships and airplanes to reroute in advance of the launch. The early stages of the rocket are forecast to fall in the West Sea, off South Korea’s southwestern coast, and in the South China Sea near the Philippines.

By Shin Hyon-hee

<관련 한글 기사>

KAL 기내폭파 위협...美 F-15출격

캐나다 밴쿠버에서 인천으로 향하던 대한항공 여객기가 폭발물 위협을 받고 회항해 현지 군기지에 착륙했다.

11일 대한항공에 따르면 10일 오후 2시35분(현지시간) 캐나다 밴쿠버 공항에서 인천행 KE072편이 이륙후 25분이 지나 미국 로스앤젤레스의 대한항공 콜센터로 '기내에 위험(폭발)물을 설치했다'는 전화가 걸려왔다.

이 때문에 대한항공 여객기는 즉시 회항해 밴쿠서 서쪽 120㎞ 떨어진 COMOX 군 기지에 착륙했다.

여객기에는 유•소아 4명을 포함해 134명의 승객과 12명의 승무원이 탑승하고 있다고 대한항공은 전했다.

대한항공 홍보실은 "밴쿠버 공항 당국이 승객들을 모두 내리게 한 뒤 기내 수하 물 등 안전 검사를 진행하고 있다"면서 "탑승객들은 현지 공항에서 대기중"이라고 밝혔다.

또 "운항 재개 시간은 아직 결정되지 않았다"면서 "현지 안전 점검이 끝난뒤 여부가 정해질 것"이라고 덧붙였다.

KE072편은 이날 오후 5시50분(한국시간) 인천국제공항에 도착할 예정이었다. (연합뉴스)