Just after 4:30 PM Sunday, United Airlines flight 2304 was searched on the tarmac at Newark Liberty Airport after an unidentified passenger on board apparently made a bomb threat, according to authorities.
After landing almost 30 minutes early on the flights from Los Angeles to Newark, the passengers were notified by their captain that there was a medical emergency and they would not be going directly to their gate.
According to eyewitness reports, a woman allegedly made a statement that there was a bomb on board the aircraft. Subsequently, the passenger along with two traveling companions were taken off the plane.
A United spokeswoman said that the airline was responding to an onboard “medical emergency” and had transported the passenger to a local hospital. “During the medical emergency onboard, the passenger made a remark which created a potential security concern,” the spokeswoman said.
Medical personnel on board the aircraft reportedly said the person appeared to be “on something,” an allegation which was later detailed by police. After the passenger was removed, the pilot spoke to the passengers stating that there was a threat and then walked the plane asking if there were any questions.
Passengers were asked to identify all their personal items and leave them on the plane. They exited the plane away from the terminal and then had to identify their checked luggage as well.
Bomb sniffing dogs were deployed to inspect all the luggage and personal carry-on items while the passengers waited on the tarmac. Once everything was cleared, the passengers went back on the plane and they headed to their gate to depart.
“We were blessed that it was a nice day” passenger Denise Ruud stated. “It wasn’t raining nor was it too hot. I probably should have slept a little bit instead of watching a couple of movies.”
After delay that lasted about three hours, the search determined that there was no threat and the incident was resolved.