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Plane traveling from Charlotte evacuated after security threat

Passengers are escorted off an American Airlines flight Monday night after the airline received a security threat
Passengers are escorted off an American Airlines flight Monday night after the airline received a security threat Courtesy of Oto Osenieks

More than 170 passengers were evacuated from an American Airlines commercial plane traveling from Charlotte to Minneapolis Monday night when the airline received a security threat and made an emergency landing, airline officials said.

The plane, a twin-jet Airbus A321, took off from Charlotte Douglas International Airport at 8:43 p.m. before it returned at 9:07 p.m., according to FlightAware, an online tracker of flight departures and arrivals.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police evacuated 178 passengers from the plane, an American Airlines spokesperson wrote in an email. By 11 p.m., the plane had not left the airport but officials were working to “get passengers on their way.”

For most of Monday night, the airline was still trying to determine if it would be able to transport passengers to their destinations on the same plane, or alternative aircraft.

Many passengers remained at the airport for several hours, including Oto Osenkis, a former University of Minnesota men’s basketball player who was on a layover flight in Charlotte and tweeted about his experience.

“Everyone is tired and want(s) to go home,” he told an Observer reporter on Twitter. “I’m sure it’s been a long day for everyone.”

Some media outlets reported that police sent dogs on the plane while ordering passengers to leave their phones and belongings behind.

Early Tuesday morning, Osenkis told the Observer that the airline put passengers on a new plane with a new crew.

On Monday, another American Airlines plane made an emergency landing at Palm Beach International Airport, according to the Palm Beach Post. The flight, which carried 134 passengers and six crew members from Dallas-Fort Worth, landed after its pilot reported a possible issue with one of the plane’s engine flaps.

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