Bomb threat shuts down St. John's airport

Air Canada Flight 143 from St. John's to Ottawa notified of possible bomb on board

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — A bomb threat at St. John’s International Airport has forced the evacuation of the airport’s departure lounge and the airport has been temporarily closed to air traffic.

The St. John’s International Airport Authority has issued a statement saying it took action after Air Canada Flight 143 departing from St. John’s to Ottawa on Thursday evening was notified of a possible bomb on board as the aircraft was pulling back from the gate.

The authority says the Embraer 190 jet carrying 82 passengers and four crew was brought back to the gate and all passengers departed safely.

The statement says the airport authority has called in its emergency response team, along with the RCMP, Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, St. John’s fire department and the region’s health authority.

The airport authority says no aircraft are being handled at the terminal “until the area has been cleared safe.”

Spokeswoman Sara Norris said she didn’t know how many people were evacuated from the departure lounge or how many flights have been delayed or cancelled.

More than three hours after the bomb threat was reported, it remained unclear when flight services would resume.

On social media, passengers on aircraft waiting on the tarmac complained about the lack of information from airport officials.

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