An American Airlines jet flying from Dallas/Ft. Worth to Boston was diverted Thursday after a flight attendant found a note saying there was a bomb in the cargo hold.
Investigators examined a “suspicious package” taken from the plane that turned out “a bag similar to a computer case,” said Kelly Watson, spokeswoman for Nashville International Airport. “The contents were nothing harmful or hazardous. It was cleared.”
Watson declined to identify the bag’s contents.
The flight attendant found the note in one of the plane’s lavatories. The 129 passengers were taken off the plane and were being rescreened by the Transportation Security Administration and FBI.
Flight 306 left Dallas/Ft. Worth at 1:46 p.m. CDT and landed in Nashville shortly after 3:30 p.m., said American Airlines spokesman Tim Wagner. It was a full flight carrying two pilots and three flight attendants.
In Nashville, the MD-80 was parked near the Tennessee National Guard airfield where Air Force One awaited President Bush’s arrival after a speech and fund-raiser in Nashville.
“It’s just a coincidence,” said Homeland Security spokesman Dennis Murphy.
Bush departed Nashville on Air Force One about 7:50 p.m. CDT. White House spokeswoman Claire Buchan said the incident did not affect Bush’s travel plans.
Doug Riggin of the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force said authorities were interviewing every person on the flight and unloading all the baggage. He said the plane could be delayed overnight.
“We have to take everything like this seriously,” Riggin said. “That’s why we’re talking to every single person on board that plane, we’ll talk to the people in Dallas where the plane originated, to the people who loaded the plane, had anything to do with the plane.
“Of course, if and when we locate the individual who left a note like this we’re going to seek prosecution through the U.S. Attorney’s office.”