Wed, May 15, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Bomb claim delays China Airlines flight to Manila

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

A China Airlines flight to Manila was delayed for four hours at Kaohsiung International Airport yesterday after the airport was informed that a bomb might be onboard.

The incident occurred as the nation waited for the Philippine government to respond to demands following the shooting death of a Taiwanese fisherman by personnel on a Philippine government vessel on Thursday last week.

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said on Saturday that the Philippines must apologize and compensate the fisherman’s family for their loss, as well as fulfill other requests within 72 hours or face sanctions including a freeze on the importation of Philippine workers.

The ultimatum expired at midnight.

The airport said the flight was scheduled to depart from Kaohsiung at 7:30am.

However, the airport’s information desk received a telephone call from an anonymous caller claiming that he had overheard a conversation that an explosive device may have been placed on the CI-711 flight to Manila.

The airport called aviation police for assistance, who asked the 60 passengers aboard the flight to disembark and wait at the boarding gate.

After police determined that no explosive device was on the aircraft or in the passengers’ carry-on luggage, the aircraft was towed back to the gate at 10:50am.

The flight departed at 11:40am.

Aviation police said they would investigate whether the anonymous caller had overheard a conversation about an explosive device or had intended to give a false report to cause inconvenience.

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