Chilean plane bomb threat was made 'for love'
Tuesday 08 February 2011
People are capable of doing many things for love. What Grace Guajardo did forced the evacuation of more than 300 people from a plane moments before take-off.
Authorities in Chile said she phoned in a false bomb threat to keep her boyfriend from flying off to a new job.
"I'm sorry, but I did it for love," Guajardo said after she was charged with making a false bomb threat.
Freed pending trial, she faces up to 61 days in jail if convicted. Prosecutors decided not to invoke the more severe anti-terrorism law after hearing the couple's story.
Her man, Rodrigo Gomez, had already boarded Iberia Flight 6830 for Madrid on Sunday, planning to take a months-long job as a cruise ship waiter.
Desperate that he was leaving, Guajardo admitted she called the airport from her mobile phone demanding that authorities tell Mr Gomez his father was gravely ill.
When that did not work, she called back, alleging there was a bomb on the plane, authorities said.
The plane was already taxiing down the tarmac when pilots parked it in a remote location where the 312 people aboard were taken off and police with bomb-sniffing dogs meticulously searched the luggage.
Meanwhile, records showed both calls were made from a mobile phone that Mr Gomez had left at home. Guajardo then confessed and was arrested.
She did succeed in getting Mr Gomez to stay in Chile. The other 311 people were rescheduled for a Monday flight.
"Yes, I'm sorry for what I did, it wasn't the best thing to do, but at least he's here," Guajardo said outside court.
The couple informed the court that they have lived together for eight years and have three children.
Mr Gomez has often worked as a waiter on cruise ships, and was leaving home again after a year and a half in Santiago.
"I can't be angry, I have to support her. What she needs is love, nothing more," Mr Gomez said, and they kissed again before the cameras.
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