by Christian Wienberg, Associated Press
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) - Bomb-sniffing dogs and Danish explosives experts
arrived in Greenland on Wednesday to inspect a Seattle-bound jetliner that
had been diverted after threatening messages were found at the Seattle
airport and a nearby restaurant.
Scandinavian Airlines System Flight 937 from Copenhagen landed safely
the Kangerlussuaq airport on the west coast of the Arctic island of
Greenland on Tuesday evening.
People on board had not detected anything unusual, local police vice
superintendent Erik Terp said, but the plane had been immediately isolated
and the airport was closed to all traffic until the plane could be
The 192 passengers and 11 crew members were evacuated and taken to a
nearby hotel to await a decision on whether the plane was safe to fly to
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport later Wednesday or whether a new plane
would be used.
SAS, the joint national carrier for Denmark, Sweden and Norway, also
treated most of the passengers to a free tour of Greenland's ice cap, which
covers 85 percent of the world's largest island.
"We were flying as planned when the captain suddenly said he would make
stop at the nearest airport," passenger Jakob Stoustrup told The Associated
Press by telephone. "The captain said the reason was two bomb threats made
in Seattle. People reacted very calmly and there was no panic."
"There was some frustration over the delay, but when the captain
elaborated after we landed, all passengers backed him up on his decision,"
said Stoustrup, a 39-year-old Danish university professor who was en route
to a conference in Alaska.
One written threat was found at a Jack in the Box restaurant near
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, and another in an airport restroom,
said Bob Parker, a Seattle-Tacoma airport spokesman. Parker said the matter
had been turned over to the FBI.
Seattle FBI spokesman Ray Lauer said he had little information about
Jack in the Box shift manager Shirad Alsamarrai said the threat at the
restaurant was written on a wall in the men's room.
One threat read simply "SAS 937 bomb," said Anders Bjorck, an SAS
spokesman in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The other was similar "with some
obscene words at the end of it," he said. Both were written in English.
The information was relayed to the pilot, who decided to divert Flight
937, a Boeing 767, Bjorck said.
"When we get notes like that, we always take them very seriously," he
said. "We don't compromise with that."
Troels Rasmussen, an SAS spokesman in Copenhagen, said the passengers
included "a mix of Scandinavians, Europeans and Americans."
Greenland, with some 55,000 inhabitants, is a semiautonomous Danish
The Kangerlussuaq airport is located in the city of Soendre Stroemfjord,
a former U.S. Army base some 450 kilometers (280 miles) north of Greenland's