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Local travelers were on board for emergency landing

By Jim Conrad, jconrad@wcyb.com
Published On: Aug 08 2013 04:27:09 PM CDT
Updated On: Aug 08 2013 03:49:47 PM CDT

A bomb threat forced a plane to land and six passengers on board were from the Tri-Cities.

KINGSPORT, Tenn. -

A bomb threat forced a plane to land and six passengers on board were from the Tri-Cities.

A U.S. Airways flight made the emergency landing Wednesday in Philadelphia.

Three ladies still have the glow of just returning from vacation -- ten days in Ireland on a hiking tour of the beautiful countryside.

That feeling of a perfect vacation was interrupted Wednesday as their plane made an emergency landing in Philadelphia. "As we started to land we started noticing a lot of fire, rescue and police vehicles lining the runway. As we started to land, taxing down the runway we noticed they were following us," said Lori Anderson, who was on board during the incident.

The reason for the emergency landing was a bomb threat. The plane taxied to the far end of the airport before the 171 passengers knew what was going on. "Someone from the police department actually boarded the plane and made an announcement that someone had made a prank call about the plane. They didn't give any specifics, just that a prank call had been made," Anderson said.

Prank call or not, the local, state and federal authorities were taking no chances.

Were the friends scared? "Just for a few seconds, probably, but everyone was calm. The FBI was there and the police were very professional. They helped us not to be afraid," said Joyce Painter, who was also on board.

"Everything was serious, deadly serious when they were having the dogs sniffing and dealing with us, but after that they were very courteous and very nice. They put us at ease," said Martha Williams, another local passenger.

The ladies all got back home almost on time from a trip they won't soon forget.

The FBI says it's working to find out who called in the threat. They say the caller could face serious charges.