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Southwest passengers resume trip after bomb scare at John Wayne

Air travelers stranded overnight in Orange County by a bomb scare were on their way to Phoenix Wednesday morning after being rebooked on Southwest Airlines flights beginning at 6:45 a.m.

Their trip on Flight 811 was interrupted about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday when authorities received threats against it and an earlier Southwest flight from Orange County that arrived at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport about an hour earlier.

The FBI is investigating the incidents to determine who made the phone threats and if there is a link between them, spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said Wednesday morning.

Passengers were taken off Flight 811 and the plane was moved to an isolated area of John Wayne Airport, where it was searched by a bomb squad and canine units from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and the Orange County Fire Authority, Eimiller said.

A similar search was conducted of Flight 1184 in Phoenix, but no explosives were found aboard either jet, authorities said. Passengers and baggage were re-screened and the flights were cleared to leave.

The Phoenix flight flew on to Tulsa, Okla., on Tuesday night, but a noise curfew prevented the Orange County flight from leaving.

Southwest put up the passengers in hotels Tuesday night and re-booked them on flights this morning, airline spokeswoman Ashley Dillon said. She said that the incidents did not prompt any enhanced security measures at either airport.

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-- Kim Christensen, Andrew Blankstein and Robert J. Lopez

 
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