Cross Country United Airlines Flight Diverted After 'Tense' Bomb Threat

Airplanes at Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, New Jersey

Photo: Getty Images

A cross country United Airlines flight was diverted to Chicago amid a "tense" bomb threat Wednesday (February 21), CBS News reports.

United Flight 1533, which was carrying 202 passengers, departed from Newark Liberty International Airport at 6:05 a.m. ET and was scheduled to land in Los Angeles, but instead touched down at O'Hare International Airport at 7:44 a.m. local time. The plane was evacuated and searched at a remote location at the Chicago airport, local authorities confirmed.

"There is no indication that there is an imminent threat to public safety or the facility itself at this time," the FBI's Chicago office said in a statement obtained by CBS News Wednesday.

A note stating that the plane would blow up was found inside the aircraft's bathroom and a bomb-sniffing K9 located one suspicious bag, according to a preliminary report. A robot was deployed to move the bag away and the passenger who checked the bag was questioned after the dog connected a scene from the note to the bag, according to an airline source.

Passenger Ian O'Connor described the situation to CBS News as being "tense because when they tell you in the air there is a situation and don't identify what the situation is, you think the worst."

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