HOUSTON – A United flight to Houston was diverted to Alexandria International Airport after reports of a possible explosive device on board, according to the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office.
At 12:24 p.m., the sheriff’s office received a call about an on-arrival plane emergency, officials said.
The flight was en route from Jackson, Mississippi to Houston before being diverted to Louisiana, according to deputies. The plane landed safely and passengers were disembarked, MEPs said.
According to the Associated Press, a passenger, Megann Cox, told KALB-TV they were in the air when the flight crew announced they would make an unexpected stopover in Alexandria. She said the plane was sitting on the tarmac with the power cut, including the airflow.
“They didn’t give us any explanation for about 30 minutes that there was a customer service issue and they needed to fix it,” she said.
The England Airpark fire department, the Rapides parish Sherriff’s office, the TSA, the Acadian Ambulance and the FBI responded to the scene. The RPSO Bomb Squad and local FBI agents also responded to the scene to assist with the investigation.
MPs said two people of interest were arrested.
United Airlines has said it is changing passenger reservations as quickly as possible.
The FBI New Orleans issued the following statement:
“The FBI New Orleans is aware of the incident that occurred today at the airport in Alexandria, LA. Through a coordinated effort involving our law enforcement partners, particularly Louisiana State Police, Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office, Transportation Security Administration, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Louisiana, Rapides Parish Homeland Security, Rapides Parish District Attorney, and the Airpark Authority of England. we are grateful to report that there was no threat to public safety and that all diverted air passengers made it to their destination. “
United Airlines issued the following written statement:
“CommutAir flight 4344, operating as United Express from Jackson, Mississippi to Houston, was diverted to Alexandria, Louisiana, due to a customer safety issue. The flight landed safely and was greeted by local authorities who are further investigating the case.
This is a developing story.
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