HAL passengers didn’t know about the bomb threat until the plane landed
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — While the bomb threat for Hawaiian Airlines Flight 465 from Honolulu to Pago Pago that sent everyone in a frenzy last Thursday evening has been declared ‘non-credible’, questions continue to mount and concerns are being voiced by local residents.
A local business woman, who was on board the flight that night, told Samoa News over the weekend that she didn’t know about the bomb threat until the plane touched down at the airport. “I have to give credit to the pilot, for his patience and resilience. He made the right call, if you ask me,” she said. “Had the passengers been informed of the bomb threat while we were in the air, everyone would’ve panicked and things would’ve gotten crazy real fast. The flight was smooth, the landing was good. Thank God nobody was hurt.”
First responders were on site that night, the airport was on lock down, and briefings were held to get everyone up to speed on how things were going to go, using protocols in place. But it was all canceled by Lt. Governor Lemanu Peleti Muaga.
At 10:36 p.m. that night (Hawaii Time) KHON 2 News in Hawaii quoted Hawaiian Air spokesperson Ann Botticelli as saying there was no threat to the aircraft (HA 465) and this was determined by Lt. Gov Lemanu.
But questions are now being asked. Some residents are wanting to know and understand: “If there really was a bomb on board the flight, what measures - if any - does American Samoa have in place to deal with such incidents? Yes, we have bomb-sniffing canines - but what else?”
Another question that still remains unanswered is, “If the police dispatcher received the call about the bomb around 4:06 p.m., as reported, why did it take two hours for the Emergency Operations Center to be alerted? A lot can happen in 120 minutes.”
There were 247 passengers on board the flight that night.
Samoa News understands that the matter has been referred to the FBI Field Office in Honolulu for investigation. And rightfully so, as this is a federal offense that carries a harsh jail term and a hefty fine.
According to sources, the anonymous 911 caller was a male. No confirmation yet on whether or not the local phone companies have been able to trace where the call came from.