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At least two Canadian fighter jets escorted a Cathay Pacific passenger jet to a safe landing in Vancouver International Airport on Saturday due to a potential unspecified security threat, a North American Aerospace Defense Command spokesperson said.
Local media reports said the plane, which reportedly originated in Hong Kong, was towed to a secure part of the tarmac with passengers still on board. Fire crews stood by as airport security officials assessed the situation.
Canadian Forces fighter jets escorted an airliner to Vancouver International Airport on Saturday afternoon following a bomb threat, Defence Department officials said. Two armed CF-18 Hornets escorted Cathay Pacific flight 839, bound for Vancouver from Hong Kong, to the airport in Richmond. It landed safely at about 1:30 p.m. PT. Officials said the jets responded quickly from their base in Comox, on Vancouver Island, once information of the potential threat was received. The fighter jets are authorized to respond to security threats with measures including lethal force. They did not land with the aircraft, and have since returned to their base. The RCMP and the Department of Defence are investigating the incident.
The passengers are still reported to be on board the plane while police investigate the alert.
The two CF-18 jets were scrambled after the pilot issued the alert
The jets, acting under the command of the North American Aerospace Defence Command (Norad), took off from a base at Comox, on nearby Vancouver Island and returned after flight CX 839 had landed.
As a precaution, Norad fighters escorted the aircraft until it landed safely in Vancouver," said Maj Holly Apostoliuk
"They told us there was some sort of terrorist problem and the baggage would be held up," an unidentified male passenger told Canada's CTV News after disembarking the flight.
When asked if he was aware that the flight had been escorted by military jets into Vancouver, another male passenger said: "No, no idea. That's news to me."
Originally posted by VintageEnvy
I wonder if maybe someone on board has some sort of illness. That would be terrifying. We know that at exactly this second they're are several hundred people absolutely freaking out on that plane. Im sitting her at work while at this very moment these people are sitting on that plane feeling I dunno what. So weird....I hope they'll be alright.