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Airport Bomb Threat Considered False Alarm
COLUMBUS (Lu Ann Stoia/Kate Liebers) -- Investigators described the bomb scare on board an American Airlines jet at Port Columbus as disturbing and extremely rare.
Airport spokesperson David Whitaker said the incident began when a threatening note was discovered.
"A passenger found it when he was in the restroom and perceived it to be a threat to the aircraft," Whitaker said.
Authorities would not disclose what was written on the note, saying the matter is now closed and no credible threat was found.
The pilot had told passengers there was an operational matter on the plane. It wasn't until the people on board started checking cell phones for texts and getting on social media sites that they learned they were being held on the runway because of a bomb threat.
The 133 passengers and five crew members exited through a stairway at the rear of the plane. Flight 302 from Dallas was scheduled to land in Columbus; instead, it was greeted by police and bomb-sniffing dogs.
"I was uncomfortable and I was scared," passenger Aaron White said. "I texted my wife. The first thing on my mind was, 'What are they not telling us?'"
Shuttle busses took passengers to the terminal while investigators searched the plane.
Officials screened passengers before they were allowed to collect their baggage. People were questioned but police did not detain any suspects.
"As much as it's an inconvenience, we are just relieved it wasn't something real," passenger Matt Hayman said.