JetBlue Plane Mistakenly Stormed by Armed Police Officers After Radio Glitch
A JetBlue plane at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport was thought to be involved in a hijacking incident, Tuesday, after the plane experienced a communications issue
A JetBlue plane at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport was thought to be involved in a hijacking incident, Tuesday, after the plane experienced a communications issue.
Flight 1623 from New York City to Los Angeles stopped responding to air traffic control before takeoff and sent out a code indicating the plane was experiencing a security threat, according to CNN.
Assuming the worst, police boarded the plane to investigate the security incident and determined there was no threat.
In a statement to PEOPLE, the airline said that the plane, an Airbus A321, “experienced a radio issue impacting the crew’s ability to communicate and a false alarm was sent to JFK tower” shortly before taking off. They added, “While communication was reestablished via alternate channels, authorities responded out of an abundance of caution. The aircraft was cleared and returned to the gate for inspection.”
In a statement, the Federal Aviation Administration said the JetBlue flight “experienced a radio problem while taxiing for departure” and added that they will investigate the issue.
JetBlue did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
Passengers captured the scene from inside the plane in pictures and videos posted to social media. Blogger Alexa Curtis shared photos of the passengers with their hands raised in the air while the plane was surrounded by police and other emergency personnel.
“I hate guns. They were pointing them, like, at us,” Curtis told CBS Los Angeles. “It was traumatizing.”
She added that some worried they are part of a terrorist attack during the two hours they were stuck on the tarmac.
“People were, like, crying. Everyone’s texting their family, and we were on ground, so usually this would happen in the air if it was gonna happen,” she said. “People were ready to die.”
JetBlue said passengers “were accommodated on a new aircraft and continued on to LA later that evening.”