Bomb plot involving cargo planes investigated

WABC-TV Eyewitness News Coverage: Breaking News

October 29, 2010 9:39:13 AM PDT
US and European authorities are attempting to thwart what appears to be an ongoing bomb plot in which more than a dozen potential bombs were shipped to the US aboard numerous air carriers, federal sources told ABC news. The devices may have been distributed onto UPS cargo trucks in New York and possibly New Jersey. So far no active devices have been found in the United States, officials said. Other potential devices have been found in London, according to ABC News. It is unknown how many if any of those suspected devices were live. Authorities in the U.K. said officials discovered that a toner cartridge on one plane had been manipulated and found wires attached to it and white powder. A senior FBI official says explosive tests run on the package in Birmingham, England were negative.

New York, Philadelphia and New Jersey authorities as well as federal authorities are attempting to track down the suspected improvised devices and bomb technicians are on the scene of the numerous suspected devices already located at banks in Queens and at other locations.

One of the UPS flights landed at Newark Airport, and the plane was taken to the UPS cargo facility to get checked out. The all clear was given at the airport shortly after 12:00 p.m.

The New York Police Department's bomb squad also stopped a UPS truck on the Queensboro Bridge as part of the investigation. NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said the package was removed and was being examined in Brooklyn.

The NYPD bomb squad investigated a UPS truck in at MetroTech in downtown Brooklyn and evacuated part of that building as a precaution. The all clear was given at that location just before 12:30 p.m.

Two planes were also getting checked in Philadelphia. (MORE FROM 6ABC.COM)

The planes involved: UPS Flight 218, a Boeing 767 that departed Paris and landed in Philadelphia; UPS Flight 204, a MD 11, that was scheduled to depart Philadelphia for Louisville; A UPS Flight that arrived at Newark Airport from somewhere in Europe, off loaded packages at their loading dock. That cargo area is now being searched.

Another UPS plane was believed headed to Chicago. (MORE FROM WLS IN CHICAGO)

Passenger operations at the airports were not impacted.

UPS says all operations are continuing.

"Trucks are running normally. UPS was contacted by FBI and TSA about the possibility of suspicious packages. We're fully cooperating with the authorities on this investigation in Philadelphia and Newark. Out of caution, we isolated the aircraft at these locations and the shipments in question are being removed," Susan Rosenberg, UPS spokesperson, said.

The Transportation Security Administration says it is aware of the situation and monitoring the investigation.

"Out of an abundance of caution the planes were moved to a remote location where they are being met by law enforcement officials and swept," the TSA said in a statement.


Load Comments