Originally created 02/08/02

Delta jet at Atlanta airport searched



ATLANTA -- Authorities searched a Delta Air Lines jet at Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport on Friday after a reported bomb threat. Nothing was found, but more than 100 passengers were forced to take other flights.

None of the passengers had yet boarded Delta Flight 350, a 767 that was scheduled to take off for Boston at 8:10 a.m. The flight was canceled, and the jet was moved away from the concourse during the search.

CNN and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported a bomb threat had been called in. Delta spokeswoman Peggy Estes said she could not confirm the reports of a bomb threat, classifying the search only as "security-related."

"We have been advised that law enforcement officers have completed their search, and they have indicated all clear," Estes said around 10:45 a.m. "Nothing of a suspicious nature was found."

Delta arranged to get the 102 scheduled passengers to Boston, Estes said. No other flights were delayed, she said.

Atlanta police Sgt. Frank Roberts told the Journal-Constitution that bomb-sniffing dogs had searched the plane's luggage.

"This is becoming routine," he was quoted as saying on the newspaper's Web site.

The security threat happened hours before U.S. Deputy Transportation Secretary Michael Jackson was to tour Hartsfield, one of 15 airports that the new Transportation Security Administration will study over the next six weeks.

The agency, which takes over airline security Feb. 17, is studying the airports to develop new security procedures for the nation's 429 commercial airports.

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On the Net:

Delta: http://www.delta.com

Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport: http://www.atlanta-airport.com