Monday, November 29, 1999

Canadian fighter jets escort Vancouver-bound Cathay flight after `dud` bomb-scare

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Vancouver, May 16 (ANI): Two Canadian fighter jets were pressed into action after a bomb scare on a Vancouver-bound Cathay Pacific flight leaving from Hong Kong.The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) received the threat prompting them to deploy two CF18 Hornet fighters."The threat is being taken very seriously and I'd like to assure the travelling public that there is no threat to them at this time," the Canadian Press quoted RCMP Corporal Sherrdean Turley as saying, Globe and Mail reports.The jets were acting under the North American Aerospace Defense Command, and they escorted the flight until it landed safely. All passengers on board were safely evacuated after necessary screening."All necessary screening procedures were carried out and it was deemed that there was no threat aboard the aircraft," said Turley.Due to lengthy security procedures, the plane was on the tarmac for over three hours, while friends and family members of the passengers waited patiently for them to alight.The jets returned to their base in Comox and did not land with the flight.Vancouver airport spokeswoman Alisa Gloag said the aircraft's 283 passengers and 14 crew left the plane soon after it landed. She could not, however, say what happened to them once they were on the ground, the paper reports"They safely disembarked the aircraft," she said.The incident did not upset other flight schedules, and the Vancouver airport is functioning normally."We are business as usual, the airport is fully operational," she said. "Everything is running smoothly."The RCMP is still investigating the origin of the scare. (ANI)

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