Local News

Delta flight evacuated at RDU after threat on social media

Posted January 17, 2015 1:50 p.m. EST
Updated January 17, 2015 10:27 p.m. EST

— A Delta flight from Atlanta to Raleigh-Durham International Airport was evacuated after landing Saturday afternoon due to a bomb threat made on social media, airport officials said.

Flight 1803 left Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport at about 11:30 a.m. Saturday, and RDU officials were made aware of the threat at about 12:30 p.m., airport spokesperson Mindy Hamlin said.

Passengers on the plane were evacuated on a runway at RDU, and the plane was kept away from either of the airport's two terminals.

Passenger Rebekah May said her focus immediately shifted to her 15-month-old daughter she was trying to get home to.

"I was literally scared to death," she said. "Like, I could have lost it, but I didn't."

She said when authorities informed her that she would have to exit from the back of the plane, she knew the situation was serious.

"At first they said they were going to bring the fire trucks to check it out and see what was going on, but when they said we could not go to the terminal, yeah, I really started freaking out," May said.

Passengers were sniffed by dogs as they exited the plane and were asked to leave their carry-on items on the aircraft.

"Then they let us back on and we picked up our carry ons and jackets and exited the plane," said passenger Jane Hebb.

Passengers were allowed to retrieve their checked baggage after several hours of being detained at the airport authority headquarters.

Several departing flights from RDU were delayed at the time of the incident, although officials did not comment on how the security threat was impacting other flights at the airport.

According to authorities the airport was given an all clear just before 3:15 p.m. The FBI is investigating the incident.

No other information about the threat was available.