French Airliner Lands on Atoll After Bomb Threat
AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) _ A UTA French Airlines jetliner with 200 passengers on board made an emergency landing on a coral atoll north of Tahiti following a bomb threat Tuesday, an Auckland airport spokesman said.
The plane’s captain landed the DC-10 on the 2,100-yard runway at the resort island of Rangiroa after receiving a radio warning that a bomb had been placed on board.
The atoll, about 190 miles north of the French territory of Tahiti, is a thin strip of coral enclosing a large lagoon.
The aircraft was on a scheduled flight from Los Angeles to Auckland via Tahiti. No further details were released about the bomb threat, and it appeared no bomb was found.
Passengers and baggage were removed from the plane on the Rangiroa runway and flown to Tahiti by French military aircraft.
In Tahiti, UTA officials said they expected the DC-10 captain to attempt to fly the aircraft off Rangiroa to Tahiti late Tuesday.
UTA provides service to the troubled French territory of New Caledonia, where some 20 people have been killed since November in clashes between independence militants and their opponents.