What turned out to be a hoax, one of a handful of phoned-in threats, led to police searching a US Airways flight and its passengers after it landed at Philadelphia International Airport Tuesday morning.
The airport confirmed there was a police investigation going on around 6:30 a.m. after flight 648 from San Diego landed as scheduled in Philly with 88 passengers and five crew on board.
The aircraft had taken off from California at 10:35 p.m. PDT and landed in Philadelphia on schedule shortly after 6:15 a.m. EDT.
"The TSA Operations Center in Washington, DC had received a phone threat stating that there was an explosive device on the plane," said Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Joe Sullivan. "Out of an abundance of caution" the airport declared a bomb threat and moved the plane to a remote area.
Photos showed emergency vehicles from the airport, Philadelphia Fire Department and Philadelphia Police parked near the Airbus 320 parked on the foggy tarmac. Passengers calmly deplaned around 7 a.m., going down stairs onto the runway where dogs appeared to be sniffing for something.
A K-9 team could also be seen boarding the plane. Sullivan said both airport K-9s and the Philadelphia Police Bomb Squad examined the plane and passengers and gave the all clear.
No injuries were reported.
"There was nothing dangerous aboard the plane... it was a hoax phone threat and certainly not a very one," said Sullivan.
American Airlines/US Airways spokeswoman Victoria Lupica said that after being taken by bus to the terminal that passengers would be met by customer service representatives that would help get them to their final destination.
Philadelphia Police and federal investigators would work to find the source of the phone call.
NBC News reported threats against at least four other aircraft including Delta Flight 55 from Los Angeles to Atlanta; United Flight 995 from San Fran to Chicago; Mexican-carrier Volaris Flight 939 from Portland, Oregon to Guadalajara, Mexico and Korean Air flight 23 from Seoul to San Fran.