Smelly Package Leads to Monster Delay at SFO

By Lori Preuitt
|  Tuesday, Jun 1, 2010  |  Updated 4:43 PM PDT
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Smelly Package Leads to Monster Delay at SFO

flyvancity via flickr

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Passengers on a United flight out of SFO suffered through a nearly five hour delay Tuesday after their aircraft had to be reexamined.

Airport spokesman Mike McCarron said United flight No. 972, which was scheduled to depart SFO at 10:12  a.m. for Chicago.

All of the passengers had to be removed from the plane and re-screened, according to McCarron.

The San Francisco Examiner reported the flight crew noticed a suspicious package on board just as the plane was headed out to the runway.  They said it also had a suspicious smell.   The scent may have been Chinese herbs.  A couple who had just returned from China was questioned at SFO, but authorities said they were in no way suspects.

After the passengers got off, the plane was moved to a secure location where K9s were brought on board to search for anything else suspicious.

Around 2:45 p.m. the media was told the plane was given the all clear to fly, but still had not moved from the tarmac as of 3 p.m.

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