SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — At least three airliners were forced to make emergency landings or turn back to their original airports in Chile and Peru amid what aviation officials said was a wave of false bomb threats Thursday.
A LATAM Airlines flight carrying passengers from Peru’s capital of Lima to Santiago, Chile, was safely evacuated after making an unscheduled landing in the southern Peruvian city of Pisco, officials said. Chile-based LATAM is Latin America’s largest airline.
Two planes operated by Chile-based Sky Airlines bound for Rosario, Argentina, and the northern Chilean city of Calama returned to Santiago without incident following phoned-in threats.
Chile’s civil aviation agency said all three planes were inspected and it was determined there were no explosives on board.
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Later Thursday, Victor Villalobos Collao, director of Chile’s civilian aviation authority, said authorities had received a total of 11 threats and had to carry out “a procedure” with respect to nine of them. He did not say what the procedure consisted of but said no explosives had been found.
Villalobos Collao said the threats were called in to concessions in Santiago’s airport, to LATAM and to the aviation agency.