The FBI Wednesday investigated false bomb threats against two Southwest Airlines planes bound for Phoenix from Orange County's John Wayne Airport.
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The Orange County Sheriff's Department was alerted by Phoenix police at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday that a threat had been made to Southwest Flight 811, which was due to depart John Wayne for Phoenix, said sheriff's Lt. Joe Balicki.
The plane was diverted to an isolation area at the south end of the airport runway, passengers and crew were removed from the plane and a bomb detection crew that included explosives detection dogs searched the plane, Balicki said.
No explosive device was found and the plane was taken off the runway around 10 p.m., Balicki said.
The airline put up the passengers in hotels and they were to fly on to Phoenix today, he said.
Earlier, a threat was made to Southwest Flight 1184, which departed John Wayne Airport for Phoenix just after 6 p.m., Balicki said. "The threat came out, and authorities at Phoenix (Sky Harbor Airport) detained that plane," he said.
That jetliner was searched and no explosive device was found, said Balicki.
Authorities then notified the Orange County Sheriff's Department of the threat to Flight 811. "The threat was tied to both planes," he said.
The FBI is now investigating the threats, Balicki said.
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