Bomb threat found aboard plane with Waianae High School group aboard

By Ben Gutierrez - bio | email

DALLAS, Texas (HawaiiNewsNow) - A teacher and three students from Waianae High School had some tense moments when a written bomb threat was found aboard the flight they were taking to Dallas, Texas, for a convention.

The four were aboard United Express flight 5394 bound from Los Angeles International Airport to Dallas-Forth Worth Airport Friday.

Teacher Jason Britt said when the plane was getting ready to land, passengers were told they couldn't leave their seats and couldn't use the restroom. They were then told to brace for an emergency landing.

"Right when we landed they opened the main door, and then firefighters and policemen came in and asked us to leave the plane, don't touch our stuff, and they escorted us off the plane and they told us to back away from the plane as far as we could," Britt said.

Britt later learned that the threat was written on a mirror in the restroom.

"I was in high school when 9/11 happened, so when things happen on a flight like that, I take it quite seriously," Britt said. "I was worried, maybe more so than my students, but it's kinda scary when they tell you its an emergency landing and you don't know why."

"It's not funny," said Waianae High School junior Jamie-Lee Evangelista. "It's really scary and it took up all. these hours of our time, and all for someone who thought it was a joke, because it wasn't."

There were 62 passengers and four crew members aboard the regional jet. They were questioned for several hours by the FBI.

No one was hurt, no bomb was found, and so far so arrests have been made. A spokesperson for the Dallas-Fort Worth airport said no flights were cancelled or delayed because of the bomb threat.

Besides Britt and Evangelista, the group included senior Manola Phamthakam and junior Moana Faumuina. The four are with Searider Productions at Waianae High School, and are among several Hawaii students in Dallas for a Student Television Network convention for high school video journalism students.

The Associated Press and KTVT contributed to this report.

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