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Passenger’s Sudden Departure Triggers Airliner Bomb Scare

From Associated Press

A Piedmont Airlines pilot alarmed by the sudden departure of a passenger just before takeoff returned today to Los Angeles International Airport, fearing that a bomb might be aboard.

The 210 passengers aboard Baltimore-bound Piedmont Flight 1146 were ordered to use emergency chutes to evacuate the Boeing 767 jetliner when it touched down at 1:17 a.m., airport spokesman Lee Nichols said.

Two passengers were treated for minor scrapes, and a co-pilot suffered a broken elbow while descending the crew’s cockpit escape rope.

The police bomb squad searched the aircraft and determined at 3:50 a.m. that there were no explosives aboard. Passengers were rerouted on other flights.

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It turned out that Vincent Gore of Santa Monica was celebrating his 29th birthday Sunday and decided it would be fun to travel by air, said Lt. Ruben Martinez of the Department of Airports police.

“He didn’t have a ticket but he wanted to fly so he got on the plane,” Martinez said. “Before the plane left, he told the stewardess, ‘I decided I don’t want to fly,’ and he got off the plane.”

Gore was questioned and released, the lieutenant said.

Asked how Gore, who didn’t have a ticket or boarding pass, managed to get on the jetliner, Piedmont spokesman Larry Pickett said: “That is being checked.”

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