This morning Delta Air Lines Flight 1706, a Boeing 737-832 (73H), carrying 137 passengers, and 6 crew, departed Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW)’s gate A23 at 8:37am, three minutes early, for its 4 hour 46 minute flight to San Diego (SAN), however somewhere over middle America, a Flight Attendant found a note that was interpreted as a bomb threat in one of the airplane’s two rear lavatories.
Upon finding the note, the flight attendant brought the threat to the attention of the Captain, who in turn was in contact with the airline directly, and flight 1706 was diverted to Albuquerque International Sunport Airport (ABQ). Upon arrival at ABQ, at 9:54am MDT Delta Flight 1706 taxied to a remote area of the airport where the aircraft was met by Airport Police, Federal Law Enforcement, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Airport Fire Department, at which time all the passengers and bags were removed from the aircraft.
Once all the passengers and baggage were removed from the aircraft, the bags were lined up to be checked fro explosives, while passenger and crew of Delta Flight 1706 were taken off the taxiway to be interviewed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
At this time law enforcement have cleared Delta Flight 1706’s aircraft of any explosives threat and ruled the threat to be a hoax, however passengers are continuing to be interviewed by the FBI.
Below is a photo from Sean C. Watkins, a passenger on Delta Flight 1706, of passengers watching law enforcement walk down a line of passenger baggage being screened for explosives. (this photo is copyrighted to Mr. Watkins, it is not in the public domain and it is used with permission)
This story is currently in progress, with information primarily being provided by an official with a federal agency on scene at ABQ with Delta Flight 1706. More details will be updated later as they become available.
UPDATE 8-MAY-2011 8:53PM EST : Delta Air Lines Flight 1706 was cleared by the FBI after full interviews of all passengers and crew and TSA supervised screening of baggage through canine inspections and hand searches. Flight 1706 departed ABQ at 4:23pm MDT and arriving at SAN’s Gate 38 at 5:15pm PST without further incident. Law enforcement has not stated any arrests have been made or that any passengers were detained at this time. The FBI considers this an on going investigation.