MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, FLA. (WSVN) - Police have given the all clear at Miami International Airport after an American Airlines flight scheduled to depart to Mexico City was delayed due to a reported security threat that was deemed not credible.
Miami-Dade Police and Fire Rescue units responded to the scene regarding what investigators called a “possible security threat,” at around 7:30 p.m., Wednesday.
According to passenger Juha Mikkola, American Airlines Flight 257 was supposed to depart at 6:45 p.m. He spoke to 7News on the phone.
“I was 45 minutes into sitting on the tarmac. The flight attendants came on very calmly and just called us back [and said] there’s a security check or clearance that they’re kind of figuring out for the plane,” he said.
The passengers were then evacuated and divided into groups of 10.
“We left all our bags and things on the plane, and as we went through the jetway, there were a lot of officers and sniffing dogs,” said Mikkola. “They had us all get separated, and the dogs kind of sniffed everybody.”
Mikkola posted photographs and video of the ordeal on Twitter, as police SUVs surrounded the plane.
Mikkola and the rest of the travelers dealt with police officers inside the terminals, as well as outside and around their plane.
Bomb-sniffing dogs were brought out to check out the passengers, who were sequestered in a closed-off section of the airport for several hours.
Mikkola said their cellphones were inspected as well.
Shortly before 8:30 p.m., an airline spokesperson confirmed the threat was not credible.
Some time after 9 p.m., police gave the all clear.
“They let us leave the jetway but not go back on the plane,” said Mikkola.
Some of Mikkola’s still images captured officials with long guns standing next to passengers inside the terminal.
Just after 10 p.m. Mikkola posted a photo showing the passengers back on board.
However, just before 11 p.m., Mikkola tweeted out that they had to deplane a second time.
Passengers were told that one person did not want to get back on the plane, and therefore, they had to remove their luggage from the aircraft.
The time it took to perform this task caused the crew to go beyond their allowable time limit. Consequently, American Airlines was required to provide the flight with a new crew.
Minutes later, Mikkola posted video of passengers cancelling their tickets.
According to the American Airlines’ website, Flight 257 finally departed at 2 a.m. on Thursday, more than seven hours after its original departure time.
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