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Bomb Scare Forces Flight To Land

Tuesday September 18, 2001 4:00 AM

TORONTO (AP) - Four Canadian jet fighters escorted a U.S. bound jumbo jet carrying 314 people to an unscheduled landing Monday after a bomb threat was made against the aircraft.

The F-18s were scrambled by the North American Aerospace Defense Command in the United States under a heightened state of security stemming from last week's terrorist attacks, said Capt. John Pulchny of the Department of National Defense.

The Virgin Airlines Boeing 747 flying from London to New York was diverted to a commercial-military airport in Goose Bay in northern Newfoundland, 550 miles northeast of Halifax, Nova Scotia, said Royal Canadian Mounted Police spokeswoman Helen Escott.

She said the airline notified Canadian authorities of the threat and the plane landed safely. She refused to provide details of the bomb threat, but said it was external instead of from someone on the flight.

Pulchny called the reaction by the jet fighters part of the ``added security posture'' since terrorists hijacked four U.S. planes and crashed three of them into the World Trade Center and Pentagon, killing and injuring thousands.

The passengers would remain overnight in Goose Bay while the RCMP investigates the plane, Pulchny said.

A police bomb squad examined the plane and hundreds of pieces of luggage late Monday. Investigators were expected to work throughout the night.,1280,-1178974,00.html

-- Martin Thompson (, September 17, 2001

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