JetBlue flight is evacuated at Newark Airport after prankster sends picture of a SUICIDE VEST to every iPhone on board – including the flight attendants
- Two flight attendants along with every passenger who had an iPhone received a photo of a suicide vest or of someone wearing a suicide vest
- It led to evacuation of JetBlue Flight 573 to Tampa just as it was about to take off
- Happened around 7:45am at Newark on Saturday when flight attendants saw pic
- Plane returned to gate and 150 passengers were deplaned onto the tarmac
- JetBlue said in a statement that the flight was delayed for additional security screenings ‘out of an abundance of caution’
Authorities say a plane bound for Florida was evacuated at a New Jersey airport after a picture of a suicide vest was sent to the iPhones of passengers and flight attendants on board.
JetBlue flight 573 was scheduled to depart Newark Liberty International Airport for Tampa when a flight attendant alerted the captain, who then told authorities at about 7:45am on Saturday.
The airdropped photo was apparently of either a suicide vest or someone wearing a suicide vest.
Two flight attendants along with every passenger who had an iPhone received a photo of a suicide vest or someone wearing a suicide vest. All the bags and cargo had to be removed
The picture, likely sent by a prankster, led to the arrival of Port Authority Police, pictured
There was a significant police presence as a result of the threatening image being sent
Anyone with an iPhone may have received the image along with two flight attendants, who in turn told the captain.
AirDrop is a way to transfer photos between Apple devices.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey then said the plane returned to the gate and the 150 passengers were deplaned onto the tarmac via stairways.
Passengers and their luggage were re-screened.
All the luggage and cargo was set out onto the tarmac so it could be inspected by Port Authority police bomb-sniffing K-9 dogs.
All of the passengers luggage and plane’s cargo was taken out onto the tarmac and re-screened
Concerned passengers took photos of the emergency response
Passengers were then brought back into the terminal building and had to be re-screened
Video and photos shared on social media showed police vehicles around the aircraft and luggage being left outside the plane.
‘We pull up to the gate and then we pull away and the captain comes on and says there’s been a security threat,’ Thomas Desmond told NBC News. ‘It was nervous when you see Port Authority police officers coming onto your plane and you just have no idea what’s going on.’
JetBlue said in a statement that the flight was delayed for additional security screenings ‘out of an abundance of caution.’
The flight ended up departing Newark at 11:27am, but there were no reports of any major flight delays at Newark as a result of the incident.