WestJet flight from Las Vegas to Victoria receives bomb threat
Plane lands safely in B.C. after 5th threat to WestJet flights in past week
A WestJet flight from Las Vegas to Victoria has landed safely in B.C. after a bomb threat.
James Bogusz with the Victoria Airport Authority says Flight 1709 received the threat around 4:20 p.m. PT. The plane landed at the airport at 5:43 p.m. and all the passengers have disembarked.
He says officials are not treating the bomb scare as a credible threat, but are taking precautions and a bomb-sniffing dog went through the aircraft.
WestJet tweeted the flight had been cleared and the RCMP will proceed with a criminal mischief investigation.
Confirm YYJ received bomb threat against our aircraft <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WS1709?src=hash">#WS1709</a>. Worked with regulatory & law enforcement agencies and deemed not credible.—@WestJet
Screening on <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WS1709?src=hash">#WS1709</a> was done out of an abundance of caution. Aircraft has been cleared. RCMP to proceed w/ criminal mischief investigation.—@WestJet
This is the fifth WestJet flight that has received hoax threats in the past week and was forced to divert mid-flight. No explosives were found on any of the aircraft, but on Monday, six passengers were injured during an emergency evacuation of a WestJet flight in Winnipeg.
- WestJet says it will ensure safety of passengers, crews after 3rd bomb 'hoax' and 4th threat within week
- Travellers take flight despite WestJet threats
The airline has previously said it will not speculate why the airline has received the false threats. Spokeswoman Brie Ogle said earlier Thursday that while the airline can understand the threats are generating a great deal of interest, it will not comment on rumours.
On Twitter, WestJet said, "This week's false threats are all criminal investigations, and we will support investigators as they seek out those responsible."
John Thomson, a vice-president with the Strategic Capital Intelligence Group, said earlier on Thursday the case "doesn't strike me as being terrorism and it doesn't strike me as being extortion — it's too particular, too focused on WestJet."
"I think it's somebody with their own personal animus against the company."
Thomson said that, if convicted, the individual or individuals behind the threats could face prison as well as civil suits by WestJet or passengers.
With files from CHEK News