China Southern Airlines’ jet lands safely after bomb scare


GUANGZHOU – A passenger jet that was forced to make an emergency landing amid a bomb scare after it took off from Urumqi Wednesday night has landed safely in Guangzhou, sources with the Guangzhou-based airline company said Thursday.

China Southern Airlines’ CZ3912 arrived at Guangzhou airport at 11:42 a.m., two and a half hours after its departure from Lanzhou, capital of the northwestern Gansu Province, a company spokesman said.

He said all 93 passengers, including a baby and 10 foreigners, were safe upon landing.

The flight, en route from Urumqi in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region to Guangzhou, made an emergency landing at Zhongshan Airport in Lanzhou at 9:53 p.m. Wednesday after police authorities in Guangzhou received an anonymous phone call warning of a bomb aboard.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) said earlier on Thursday the threat had been a hoax, as security workers and sniffer dogs had detected nothing suspicious after a thorough search of the cabin.

A spokesman with China Southern Airlines said the incident had not disrupted the company’s other flights, but it “would certainly be taken as a warning to tighten security checks.”

Public security authorities were still probing the bomb hoax and promised to penalize the suspects in accordance with law.

China Southern Airlines flew a total of 66.28 million passengers last year, the third largest number in the world next only to American Airlines and Delta Air Lines.

The company has Asia’s largest fleet of 392 planes.

On March 7, 2008, a 19-year female, Uygur, attempted a terrorist attack on a China Southern Airlines flight that left Urumqi for Beijing. The attempt was foiled.