Passengers on Diverted Flight Feared Explosion
Delta Airlines flight 1706 took off from Detroit on a flight to Lindbergh Field Sunday but it was diverted to Albuquerque, New Mexico after the disturbing note was found. It was a Mother's Day flight that some travelers will never forget. (Published Monday, May 9, 2011)
Updated at 6:25 AM PDT on Monday, May 9, 2011
Some passengers on Sunday's Delta Flight 1706 feared that the plane would explode. The flight was scheduled to land in San Diego from Detroit Sunday but was diverted to Albuquerque, New Mexico after a potential security threat.
Passengers said fears of a bomb on the plane intensified after the plane was landed in New Mexico.
"We're starting to see fire trucks gather, and medical people and who knows what, but far way. 200 yards away from us probably. And we're thinking, 'Are we gonna blow up while we're waiting out there? Why are they waiting so far away? They think that we're going to blow up.' It was really scary," said San Diego resident Michelle Gross who took the early flight to spend more of Mother's Day in San Diego.
FBI spokesman Frank Fisher declined to clarify the nature of the "potential security threat" that caused Flight 1706 to land in New Mexico.
He said agents searched the plane and interviewed the crew and 107 passengers before clearing the aircraft to fly again.
National City resident Christina Martinez said the incident was just a part of flying after the 9/11 attacks in 2001.
"We live in a crazy world. These things happen. So I just figured, as long as they get us safely to the ground and out of there and back home, it didn't matter," she said.
The delay was part of a marathon trip that began on Saturday and included an overnight stay in the airport for Martinez.
"I'm probably going to go home and go to sleep. I just wanna get some rest," she said.
Passengers said they clapped after both flights landed. Some thanked the pilot.
It's a Mother's Day some say they won't forget.
"It's a happy Mother's Day. We all said when we landed that it could've been a lot worse. We're very grateful to be here. It was a long horrible day, but we're grateful to be here," said Gross.
Published at 5:55 AM PDT on May 9, 2011