Threat forces emergency landing of 777 in British Columbia

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by Associated Press

KING5.com

Posted on April 10, 2012 at 6:44 PM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 10 at 10:13 PM

COMOX VALLEY, British Columbia -- A Korean Airlines Boeing 777 en route from Vancouver to Seoul diverted to a Canadian Forces base on Vancouver Island under escort by two U.S. fighter jets after the airline's U.S. call center received a call about a threat on board.

Korean Air said in a release that 25 minutes after take-off from Vancouver International Airport the call center received the threat. The airline said after discussion with the related departments they decided to turn the aircraft around.

A Canadian spokeswoman for The North American Aerospace Defense Command said two American fighter jets escorted the plane to Canada's Comox air base, which is 70 miles (112 kilometers) outside Vancouver

"It was two F-15s from Portland, Oregon that conducted the intercept," said Maj. Holly Apostoliuk.

The Canadian Forces said in a news release that the flight was traveling from Vancouver International Airport and was diverted to Comex at about 5:30 p.m.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported the plane was diverted after a bomb threat was made in a telephone call to the airline's Los Angeles office. According to the CBC report, the flight was escorted by U.S. Air Force F-15 fighter jets.

A Korean Air spokesman said he was aware of the incident but declined to comment on the reported bomb threat.

Vancouver International Airport spokeswoman Alisa Gloag said flight 72 with 149 passengers landed safely at Comox about three hours after it took off. Gloag could not confirm any other details.

The military said emergency personnel are securing the aircraft in accordance with normal procedures.

The military base is located on the east coast of Vancouver Island.

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