Korean Air says jet diverted in Canada after threat

Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:45am EDT
 

SEOUL (Reuters) - A Korean Air passenger jet made an emergency landing at a Canadian military airbase after a call centre in the United States received a threat by telephone late on Tuesday, the airline said.

Korean Air flight 72, which was en route to South Korean capital Seoul, diverted to the Comox base on Vancouver Island in Canada's Pacific province British Columbia, soon after takeoff from Vancouver, the airline said in a statement released on Wednesday in Seoul.

"The (Korean Air) US call center received a call that there was a threat on board the aircraft," Korean Air said in a statement. A Korean Air spokeswoman could not confirm whether it was a bomb threat, as earlier reported by Canadian media.

The plane, a Boeing 777, had 147 people including 134 passengers on board, the airline said.

Two U.S. fighter jets, which took off from Portland, Oregon, intercepted it and shadowed it until it landed at the Canadian base, the Pentagon said in a statement.

"The airline will decide about the continuation of the flight after discussion with the airport and related authorities," Korean Air said.

(Reporting by Sung-won Shim in SEOUL, Missy Ryan in WASHINGTON and Janet Guttsman; Editing by Daniel Magnowski)