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Bomb hoax hits Davao-Cebu flight

By: Norman V. Mendoza April 22,2016 - 11:06 PM
The K9 unit and other security personnel inspect the luggage after the public assistance office of the Mactan Airport received a bomb threat which turned out to be a hoax. (CDN PHOTO/NORMAN MENDOZA)

The K9 unit and other security personnel inspect the luggage after the public assistance office of the Mactan Airport received a bomb threat which turned out to be a hoax. (CDN PHOTO/NORMAN MENDOZA)

The Cebu Pacific flight coming from Davao City arrived safely at the Mactan Cebu International Airport.

But the 178 passengers, including crew, wondered why they were surrounded by the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team, some policemen, fire trucks and other emergency services at a distance around 11 a.m. yesterday.

They were quickly brought down from the aircraft and transported by buses to the terminal.

They only learned later that the Public Assistance Office of the Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority received a call from an unidentified woman saying there was a bomb in the aircraft.

Charmaine Pacabes, the duty personnel of Public Assistance Office, said she received a telephone call from an unidentified woman shortly before 10 a.m. saying, “May parating na eroplano may bomba.” (There’s an incoming airplane with a bomb.)

A minute later the woman called again speaking in Tagalog but with Visayan intonation, saying that an airplane had a bomb. She then hang up the phone and called again in less than a minute. The caller told Pacabes that a woman was carrying the bomb on board the Cebu Pacific flight from Davao City.

Pacabes immediately reported the incident to the office of Aviation Security Unit 7 (AVSEU 7), which in turn, called the Davao Airport, but the airplane had already left.

When the plane arrived, the control tower instructed the pilot to stop and position the plane at the north side of the runway for inspection.

Senior Supt. Raul Bargamento, chief of AVSEU 7, said they immediately isolated the aircraft and conducted paneling inspection with the K9 unit, but it turned out to be negative.

The incident only caused a little delay to the passengers due to luggage inspection.

Bargamento said they are now tracing the origin of the call for possible charges to be filed.

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