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Bomb threat prompts sweep of plane at Washington airport

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Plane searched after bomb threat
  • NEW: The woman who made the threat may have mental issues, an official says
  • NEW: No bomb is found and the scene in Washington is now clear, the official adds
  • The threat was made in person at a ticket counter in Dayton, Ohio
  • 44 passengers who safely deplaned are being questioned, an airport official says

Washington (CNN) -- A bomb threat made at an airport ticket counter in Dayton, Ohio, prompted a search of a US Airways flight that landed safely at Washington's Reagan airport Sunday, authorities said.

A law enforcement official said Sunday afternoon that no explosives have been found and the scene is now clear. The woman who made the threat in Ohio, who was taken into custody, may have mental health issues, the official said.

Hours earlier, the FBI, Transportation Security Administration and the Federal Aviation Administration began probing reports of "a bomb on board US Airways Flight 2596," FBI spokeswoman Lindsay Godwin said.

The flight originated in Dayton and was closer to Washington when the threat was made, "prompting officials to let the plane proceed," Godwin said.

The US Airways flight departed on time, at 11:42 a.m., but landed about 30 minutes later than scheduled at 1:36 p.m., according to the airline's website.

The plane was preparing to land when the airport was told to hold the flight, said Courtney Mickalonis, a spokeswoman for Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.

Upon landing, the plane was directed to a remote runway and the 44 passengers were deplaned, Mickalonis said. US Airways spokeswoman Tina Swail said three crew members also had been aboard the CRJ 200 plane.

A K-9 team alerted to a checked bag, TSA said, and local police are investigating.

Kristin Lee, a Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman, said Sunday afternoon that the agency is "aware of a verbal bomb threat."

All passengers safely were taken off, and the bomb squad swept the plane, she said in an e-mailed statement.

Video showed luggage scattered on ground around the runway just outside the aircraft. One person dressed in bomb squad gear opened and looked at the bags, one by one.

Other aircraft could be seen taking off from the airport. But US Airways' express flights -- like the one from Dayton -- are experiencing delays as a result of the incident, airline spokeswoman Tina Swail said.

The plane's passengers, meanwhile, were being questioned by FBI investigators, Mickalonis said.

CNN's Jonathan Helman, Mike M. Ahlers, Carol Cratty and Stephanie Gallman contributed to this report.