Cleveland Mayor Michael White's Retractions from 9/11/2001 about Delta Flight 1989

[My thoughts about the day can be found at 9/11/2001 Thoughts. A detailed timeline of the events of the day at 9/11/2001 Timeline. I've also collected some pictures of 9/11. I also have scanned in a scrapbook from a flight 1989 passenger. ]

[The following article ran in the Cleveland Plain Dealer on 9/12/2001 and talks about flight 1989 and Mayor White's unfortunate remarks on 9/11. I think a link to the online copy is here.]

Plane diverted to Cleveland triggers alarm FBI finds nothing aboard flight to L.A.

The Plain Dealer -- Cleveland, Ohio
By Patrick O'Donnell - September 12, 2001

Copyright The Plain Dealer 2001

Delta Flight 1989 - with 69 passengers and a crew of nine - was grounded at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport yesterday. It had left Boston en route to Los Angeles. There had been rumors a bomb was on board, but none was found.

A plane diverted to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport yesterday morning was kept sitting on a runway for a couple hours and its passengers were interviewed by FBI agents. But suspicions that the plane had been hijacked or had a bomb on board turned out to be unfounded.

Delta Flight 1989 made an emergency landing at Hopkins about 10:45 a.m., nearly two hours after the World Trade Center towers were hit by two hijacked planes.

Delta ordered the plane to land in Cleveland, according to Cleveland FBI Special Agent Robert Hawk.

He said airline officials wanted the Boeing 767 down because it was traveling from Boston to Los Angeles, the same flight path as two of the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center.

At one point, Hawk said, there was confusion about whether there had been an incident on the plane. Delta, he said, told the Federal Aviation Administration there was a problem with the flight.

Delta spokeswoman Cindi Kurczewski declined comment.

In a televised news conference at 11, Mayor Michael R. White first said there was an unconfirmed report that the plane might have been hijacked or was carrying a bomb. But in the middle of the news conference, he reported that it had not been hijacked, and later in the day he said no bomb had been found.

White's office later said that the plane landed as a precaution.

The plane sat on airport property between the terminal, the NASA Glenn Research Center and the International Exposition Center for about two hours. About 12:30 p.m. baggage cars and shuttle buses approached the plane. The 69 passengers and nine crew members then walked down a portable staircase and onto the buses, which took them to FAA headquarters nearby.

Hawk said the FBI did not want to let the passengers into the terminal because agents needed to interview them and search the plane before releasing them. The delay, he said, was needed to set up an interview site and arrange for buses and emergency crews.

All the passengers were released after none reported seeing anything unusual on the flight.

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