Passengers on Air France flight diverted to SLC after bomb threat said they feared the worst

Posted at 9:31 PM, Nov 18, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-18 23:31:19-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- Many passengers on board Air France 65 were in fear for their lives Tuesday night after the plane made an emergency landing at the Salt Lake City International Airport following a bomb threat.

“There is going to be a hostage situation, there are going to be terrorists running through our cabin, shooting indiscriminately," said Jennifer Wolfe, who was on board the plane. These are the thoughts that we're going through Wolfe's mind when she found out about the emergency landing.

Wolfe and her boyfriend, Edwin Duterte, were on their way to Barcelona for a family reunion.

“Suddenly, over the loud speaker they say in French to put your food on the floor and put your trays up we’re going to make an emergency landing," Wolfe said.

The plane landed at the Salt Lake City International Airport just after 7 p.m. and was immediately swarmed by emergency vehicles.

“There were a few people crying as well as people clapping," Duterte said.

The passengers say they sat in their seats for about 20 minutes, with no clue what was going on.

“The fact that we had no information whatsoever was a little bit nerve racking," Myriam Blamckaert said.

Blamckaert lives in America but is from Paris, and she was on her way back for a visit.

“I still have this fresh memory of my hometown getting attacked, so I was ready to see any kind of scenario and situation happening in front of my eyes," Blamckaert said.

She remembers the looks on the flight attendants faces.

“Their faces were not very reassuring. They were more like smirks than smiles," Blamckaert said. “I actually think Air France did the right thing by not telling us what it was."

According to passengers, eventually FBI agents entered the plane and began questioning passengers one by one. It was at that point that they were officially notified about the bomb threat.

“I didn’t feel like my life was in danger, but it did take me a while to actually calm down," Wolfe said.

All 497 passengers and crew on board were placed on buses, where they waited on the Tarmac for hours before the FBI declared the plane was safe to continue the journey. It took off just after midnight. About 30 passengers decided to stay in Salt Lake City.

“I myself wasn’t prepared to make that decision last night, I was exhausted, I was pretty freaked out, so we just decided, 'OK, we’ll stay in Salt Lake City,'" Wolfe said.

“The darkness of it all just to have to go through this, and I don’t think this is the best time for me to take my vacation to Paris," Blamckaert said.