A television screen shot showing a Caribbean Airlines aircraft on the tarmac at the Miami International Airport, Florida on Thursday.

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"Ticking" luggage grounds CAL Flight in Miami

...don't blame us, says airline

By CAROLYN KISSOON carolyn.kissoon@trinidadexpress.com

Caribbean Airlines (CAL) chairman Rabindra Moonan has said the airline was not responsible for the three-hour delay caused by a suspicious package at the Miami International Airport.

The flight, CAL 483, due to leave Miami yesterday afternoon for Trinidad and Tobago via Kinston, Jamaica, was grounded and searched by Miami Airport and US aviation authorities.

Miami-Dade police department bomb squad was contacted after a ticking noise was reportedly heard coming from luggage aboard the aircraft, Moonan said.

"There had to be security checks on the flight for a couple hours. The passengers had to disembark and all the luggage were taken off. I understand ten other flights were delayed because of that," he said.

The Express learned that ten flights were delayed and two incoming flights were diverted to other gates. 

Moonan said the owner of the "suspicious" suitcase was  found. He said the luggage had been transferred from another aircraft and the owner told authorities the noise was coming from a musical instrument.

Moonan explained that CAL was in no way responsible for the delay as it was the responsibility of the country's Airport Authority to search baggage before it is secured on the aircraft.

"The security check is a matter for the US authorities. Security checks with respect to baggage in airports are undertaken by the airport authority in that country," he said.

Moonan said the flight eventually left en route to Jamaica. "In Jamaica they changed the crew and then came to Port-of-Spain where they landed about 11.20pm. The flight was scheduled to arrive at 8.30pm," he said. Moonan said CAL flight to Miami were on schedule this morning.


(RIchard Charan- Multimedia Editor)
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