A potential security threat aboard an American Eagle flight prompted an emergency landing and full-scale evacuation at LaGuardia Airport on Saturday afternoon. A passenger was taken into custody following the incident, but law enforcement sources later said the threat to the plane was a false alarm.
Passengers were forced to disembark the Embraer 170 regional jet via an emergency slide in the front of the plane after it landed shortly before 3 p.m. Saturday afternoon.
Fire trucks and other emergency service vehicles were seen rushing towards the plane after pilots radioed that a passenger had made threats against the flight and claimed an explosive device was coming. found on board.
The 80 passengers and crew aboard the American Eagle flight were safely evacuated according to the Federal Aviation Administration following what it described as a “security incident”. The flight was operated on behalf of American Airlines by regional carrier Republic Airways.
“American Eagle flight 4817, operated by Republic Airways with service from Indianapolis to New York (LGA) landed on the taxiway at LGA due to a potential safety issue. The plane landed safely and all customers disembarked without incident, ”said an American Airlines spokesperson following the incident.
Sources claim that a passenger on the plane began to become unruly and his behavior frightened other passengers. Facing the flight attendants, the passenger claimed that he had an explosive device on board the plane.
Video taken by one of the flight’s passengers shows firefighters restraining a man on the tarmac shortly after the evacuation. The man was quartered as spectators were ordered to keep their distance.
Authorities later confirmed that there was no serious threat to the plane.
The FAA has reported an increase in unruly passenger incidents in recent weeks after a drop in disruptive incidents in late summer. President Biden vowed to “deal with” the unruly passengers later last week and asked the Justice Department to allocate resources to the problem.
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