Home Emergency Management News EDM Friday Briefing: Airline Security Threats, Malware Attack, Pipeline Explosion

EDM Friday Briefing: Airline Security Threats, Malware Attack, Pipeline Explosion


Emergency and disaster management briefing for February 10, 2017: An American Airlines flight is diverted for a security check which is the second security threat against the airline in nine days, two commuter fast trains are evacuated in Sweden after a bomb threat is received, a malware attack targets 140 organizations in at least 40 countries, a pipeline explosion in Louisiana leaves one person missing and two with serious injuries, a semi-truck driver dies after the vehicle is blown off the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, the northern East Coast gets slammed with heavy snow, Baltimore Police Department releases the video of the fatal shooting of Curtis Deal.

  1. An American Airlines flight that took off from the John Glenn International Airport in Columbus, Ohio diverted to St. Louis, Missouri (STL) for a security check on Thursday morning. Flight 534, en route to Phoenix, Arizona was carrying 118 people and landed at 8:14 a.m. in STL. A thorough inspection of the plane and all the luggage was conducted by K9s and police, but no credible threat was found and police released the aircraft to continue its flight.
  2. This is the second time in just nine days that a security threat has caused the diversion of an American Airlines flight. On February 1, the airline received a bomb threat for flight 1804, traveling from Charlotte, North Carolina to Indianapolis, Indiana and diverted the flight to Knoxville, Tennessee. Police, K9s, emergency crews and the police bomb squad conducted a thorough search of the aircraft. Two passengers were questioned by authorities and released several hours later. The security threat was found to be non-credible.
  3. Two fast trains operated by MTR for the national rail company SJ in Sweden were evacuated on Thursday due to bomb threats. Police also requested that all trains into and out of the cities of Gothenburg and Stockholm be halted. The request came after police received a threat at 1:10 p.m. local time and a train en route to Stockholm was stopped in Södertälje Syd. Another train was traveling to Gothenburg from Stockholm was stopped just outside the train station. After a thorough search, police indicated the threats were a false alarm and travel resumed nearly four hours later, but delays persisted through the evening.
  4. A report issued on Wednesday identified hidden malware that has attacked at least 140 organizations in 40 different countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, Russian, France, Kenya, and Ecuador. Banks, telecommunications companies, and government organizations have all been targeted. The malware is fileless, meaning it hides in the memory of compromised computers and nearly all traces of it disappear after a reboot. The malware allows hackers to obtain passwords and financial data, with a prime target being computers that operate automated teller machines.
  5. A Phillips 66-operated natural gas pipeline explosion in Paradis, Louisiana Thursday evening resulted in one person missing and two with serious burn injuries, one of whom was airlifted to the burn center in Baton Rouge, LA. Three workers also suffered minor injuries and about 60 homes were evacuated in the immediate area. The Paradis pipeline station is located west of New Orleans by just about 30 minutes.
  6. The driver of a tractor-trailer traveling across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in Virginia has died after his truck plunged into the icy water below. Heavy winds between 40 and 47 mph are believed to have contributed to the truck driving off the bridge, but investigators indicate that other factors, including a medical condition cannot yet be ruled out. The incident occurred just before 12:30 p.m. and the driver originally was standing on the cab, but when a U.S. Navy helicopter arrived to rescue him, he was in the water and unresponsive.
  7. Winter weather dealt a huge blow to the northern East Coast on Thursday, delivering gale-force winds and more than a foot of snow in some areas. Tens of thousands of people in Massachusetts were left without power and Boston's Logan International Airport grounded about 65 percent of its flights due to the weather. Nearly 3,700 pieces of snow moving equipment were mobilized by the state to help clear roads as quickly as possibly.
  8. On Thursday, the Baltimore Police Department released the video of the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Curtis Deal that occurred on Tuesday. Deal, who had been arrested three times in the past month, had multiple counts of gun and drug charges but had been released by a judge on Monday with an order to follow a 7:00 p.m. curfew and attend school. On Tuesday, Deal allegedly jumped out a vehicle that police were chasing and had a gun. Deal seemingly pointed the gun at Detective David Kincaid Jr. who then shot Deal four times. The incident has sparked concerns over a potentially dysfunctional criminal justice system that places law enforcement officers at an increased risk.

Kimberly Arsenault Kimberly Arsenault serves as an intern at the Cleveland/Bradley County Emergency Management Agency where she works on plan revisions and special projects. Previously, Kimberly spent 15 years in commercial and business aviation. Her positions included station manager at the former Midwest Express Airlines, as well as corporate flight attendant, inflight manager, and charter flight coordinator. Kimberly currently holds a master's degree in emergency and disaster management from American Public University.