Chicago Woman Who Missed Her Flight Said There Was a Bomb in Her Checked Baggage

  • A Chicago woman told airport staff there was a bomb in her checked luggage aboard a plane she had just missed.
  • The plane had to be rerouted and passengers were evacuated while authorities searched the plane. 
  • Marina Verbitsky, 46, was taken into custody Broward County Jail and faces a count of falsely reporting planting a bomb.

A Chicago woman who was late for her flight told staff there was a bomb in her checked baggage aboard the departed flight, reported Chicago PBS television station WTTW.

The woman has been identified as 46-year-old Marina Verbitsky, per WTTW. She made the report on Monday night after airport staff at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport told her that her plane had already left the gate, according to WTTW, quoting the Broward County sheriff’s office.

The plane, which was already taxiing, had to be rerouted due to the bomb threat, WTTW reported. Passengers were evacuated and no explosives were found, the broadcaster reported, quoting officials from the sheriff’s office.

Verbitsky was taken into custody at the Broward County Jail in southeast Florida, reported the Chicago Tribune. She faces one count of false report concerning planting a bomb. If convicted, she could have to pay for all costs and damages that arose from the false report, according to Florida’s law. 

It is unclear if Verbitsky is still in custody. The Broward Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Verbitsky was traveling with her husband and son, the Chicago Sun Times reported.

“It was a mistake. She was nervous about the son needing to go to school,” an unnamed relative of Verbitsky told the Times.

This is the second false bomb threat reported at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in recent months. In July, a man was arrested for saying he had an explosive in his luggage after a dispute over baggage fees, reported NBC, forcing the airport to evacuate three terminals and halt operations for hours. He was arrested and charged with making a false report concerning planting a bomb, per NBC.

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