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Bomb Threat Shuts Down Inter Island Flights

June 24, 2005 – Seaborne Airlines started the morning fine, getting its early flights going between islands. However, a call came in at 7:17 a.m. saying a bomb was on one of its planes.
The call not only shut down air traffic between St. Croix, St. Thomas and Puerto Rico, auto traffic was rerouted away from the airlines bases on St. Croix and St. Thomas.
While this did not cause a problem on St. Croix, closing a section of Veterans Drive on St. Thomas caused what Sgt. Thomas Hannah, V.I. police department spokesman, called a major traffic jam during morning rush hour.
Besides the V.I. police department, the FBI, the V.I. Territory Emergency Management Authority and the V.I. Port Authority were all called to help with the investigation. The go-ahead to resume flights and open the closed areas to traffic was given about 10:15 a.m.
Omer ErSelcuk, Seaborne chief marketing officer, said, "These people did a real knock-up job, excellent."
He also gave credit to the customers for being "so understanding" and to the employees "who did what needed done." When passengers and police officers were standing at the end of the Seaborne entrance on St. Croix waiting for the all clear, a Seaborne employee brought out cold water for all.
A few minutes later, a tall thin man who often walks around Christiansted yelling loudly, walked by yelling something about pounds of dynamite.
In total, ErSelcuk said eight flights were affected. Some passengers rescheduled or cancelled. ErSelcuk said flights were being added on Saturday so anyone who could not be accommodated Friday would get to fly then.
According to Hannah, when the threat came in, the Seaborne employee asked the caller to repeat what was said and the caller, reportedly, said, "You know what I mean. There is a bomb on one of your planes."
Hannah said some people might "not fully understand what is going on in our country now." He said threats such as this one fall under new Homeland Security laws. He said, "There is nothing mischievous about this. This person is facing serious jail time and serious fines."
He said that a couple of years ago a person made a bomb threat to Hovensa, that person was caught and went to jail.
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