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JetBlue plane headed for Tampa evacuated after flight attendants receive photo of suicide vest

Local News

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – According to NBC 4 New York, a JetBlue flight leaving from Newark Airport Saturday morning heading to Tampa was evacuated after flight attendants received a photo of a suicide vest or someone wearing a suicide vest.

The photo was airdropped to two flight attendants who then told the captain, NBC 4 New York said in an article. Airdrop is a way to instantly share photos, videos, documents and more with other Apple devices that are nearby.

JetBlue Flight 573 was supposed to take off at 7:20 a.m., however, it returned to the gate and all 150 passengers were asked to deplane once the photo was received.

8 On Your Side’s Marco Villarreal spoke with Thomas Desmond, who lives in Riverview, Florida. Desmond was on flight 573 and said things became nervewracking when they pulled back into the gate.

“We pull up to the gate and then we pull away and the captain comes on and says there’s been a security threat,” Desmond said. “It was nervous when you see Port Authority police officers coming onto your plane and you just have no idea what’s going on.”

Nikki Morris, one of the passengers on board, did a Facebook Live video, capturing the experience. Once she was off the plane, she said she noticed all pieces of luggage were off the plane and on the ground.

Posted by Nikki Morris on Saturday, July 13, 2019

8 On Your Side also reached out to the aunt of a 16-year-old passenger of flight 573. Sharon Rosa said her niece told her they boarded the plane at 5:45 a.m. Rosa told 8 On Your Side her niece and the other passengers were given no information except the plane was having technical difficulties.

The flight ended up leaving at 11:27 a.m., a little over 5 hours late, and arrived at Tampa International Airport around 2:01 p.m.

JetBlue issued a statement to News Channel 8 saying the plane was “delayed for additional security screenings out of an abundance of caution.”

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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