METRO AIRPORT (WXYZ) – F-16 fighter jets were ordered to follow a Frontier Airlines flight from Denver to Detroit after reports that three passengers were behaving suspiciously.
According to a statement released by Frontier, flight 623, which originated in San Diego, was diverted from the gate in Detroit after landing at 3:30 p.m., and passengers were taken to a remote area of the airport for questioning.
When police boarded the plane guns drawn they told passengers to put their heads down and their hands on the seat in front of them. Two men and one woman all seated in the same row were removed first by authorities.
“The policeman said everybody remain seated. Everyone remains seated. If you get out of your seats you will be taken care of quickly,” said Marilyn Dietrick, telling us the commands they were given by officers.
“They had us put on our hands up on the seats and heads down.”
People on the plane tell Action News the two men in question spent long periods of time in the plane’s lavatories. It’s not clear how the woman was involved.
“They were going back and forth through the aisle,” passenger David Mungia said, describing the behavior of the two men who were taken away by police.
“One of the guys was in the bathroom for at least ten minutes,” Mungia said.
The FBI says after investigation it was determined that the passengers were doing nothing wrong.
The other 113 passengers were ordered off the plane without their belongings. They were bused to a holding area and questioned by the FBI. Agents used dogs to inspect the plane’s cargo. Nothing suspicious was found.
At 5:15 p.m. security teams finished their sweep of the aircraft and it was cleared to begin service on other flights.
No one was hurt and so far no one has been placed under arrest. All of the detained passengers, including the three who were first taken off the plane, have been released.
“It was scary enough flying on 9/11. I can’t believe this happened,” Mungia said.
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