Bomb Squad Sweeps Plane after Passenger Detained at San Antonio Airport

The man had apparently tampered with the smoke detector, and ceiling tiles had also been moved.


Bomb-sniffing dogs swept a Delta Air Lines flight from Atlanta upon landing Saturday after authorities said a passenger tampered with a smoke detector and moved ceiling panels in a lavatory.

The passenger, a San Antonio man who was not identified, was being questioned by federal authorities at San Antonio International Airport, FBI spokesman Erik Vasys said.

"We're just trying to determine what his intentions were," Vasys said. "It may be a simple issue which does not result in an arrest."

The passenger on Delta Flight 6492 was overheard being "disruptive" in the lavatory by flight attendants and had spent an extended amount of time there, said Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman Jennifer Peppin.

The man had apparently tampered with the smoke detector, Vasys said. Authorities said ceiling tiles had also been moved.

A bomb-sniffing dog that inspected the lavatory upon landing "showed some interest," airport spokesman David Hebert said. A bomb squad then swept the plane but found no suspicious materials, he said.

Thirty-six passengers were on board and flight attendants didn't grow suspicious of the passenger until late into the flight, Hebert said.

Delta Air Lines Inc. did not immediately return calls.

Also Saturday, a Miami-bound flight made an emergency landing at a Tampa airport after the plane's crew became suspicious of two locked lavatory doors, an airport spokesman said.

Police, air marshals and Transportation Safety Administration officials searched the plane and used K9 dogs but did not find anything suspicious. They unlocked the bathroom doors, but no one was inside, said Fred Dettmann, Tampa International Airport spokesman.

"There was no security threat detected," American Airlines spokesman Tim Smith said.

American Airlines Flight 2036 from Dallas landed in Tampa shortly after 7:30 p.m. and took off again after 9 p.m. It arrived in Miami almost an hour later.

The Boeing 737 was carrying 104 passengers and five crew members, Smith said.


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