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'People Were Ready To Die': Radio Glitch Triggers Frightening False Alarm On JetBlue Flight To LA As Officers Swarm Plane

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Passengers on JetBlue Flight 1623 from New York City to Los Angeles spent several hours on the runway Monday, which were punctuated by security officers storming the plane after the plane lost its radio signal.

Video from Alexa Curtis shows passengers holding their hands up as the officers do their sweep.

"I hate guns. They were pointing them, like, at us," Curtis told CBS2 News. "It was traumatizing."

She said they waited two hours on the runway at John F. Kennedy International Airport, some fearing they were experiencing a terrorist attack before takeoff.

"People were, like, crying. Everyone's texting their family, and we were on ground, so usually this would happen in the air if it was gonna happen," said Curtis. "People were ready to die."

After they were all ordered back into the airport, travelers found out the whole thing had been caused by a radio malfunction.

According to JetBlue, the flight "experienced a radio issue impacting the crew's ability to communicate and a false alarm was sent to JFK tower."

"While communication was reestablished via alternate channels, authorities responded out of an abundance of caution," the airline said.

The plane eventually made it back to the gate for inspection.

"We noticed the SWAT vans and everything, but nobody was coming on the intercom and saying anything," Curtis said.

Curtis said she's not sure when she'll return to L.A., but she said she's glad law enforcement was there, despite the scare.

"I feel, like, safe that that's what their precautions are, I don't care if it's radio or not. I just wish they had been more vocal about it," said Curtis.

The cause of the radio glitch remains unclear. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the incident.


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