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Panama City Flight Diaper Incident: Weirdest Bomb Scare Ever

By Orgesta Tolaj


20 October 2023

Panama City flight diaper incident

© Freepik

Who thought that the time a diaper and a bomb would be used in the same sentence from a news outlet would actually come? Definitely not me, that is for sure! In a bizarre and somewhat comical turn of events, a suspected bomb threat on a Copa Airlines flight bound for Tampa, Florida, from Panama City has been revealed to be nothing more than a harmless adult diaper. Authorities were forced to take swift action, evacuating passengers from the aircraft and conducting an emergency inspection, only to discover that the source of the scare was a seemingly innocuous item. Here is everything that went down on the Panama City flight diaper incident.

What Happened?

A Copa Airlines flight from Panama City to Tampa, Florida, was forced to return due to a suspected bomb threat. All 144 passengers were evacuated, but the threat turned out to be a false alarm. Authorities discovered that the cause of the scare was an adult disposable diaper found on the plane.

Panama City Flight Diaper Incident

The Boeing 737-800, which had 144 passengers on board, landed in Panama City around 11 a.m. local time. Following a suspected bomb threat, the plane was moved to an isolated area on the tarmac. Passengers were disembarked, and an anti-explosives team inspected the aircraft. It was later determined that the suspicious object found in one of the plane’s bathrooms was actually an adult diaper. Authorities confirmed there was no risk.

They clarified: “We had it on a secure runway where police special explosives canine units and special forces examined the object, and found it to be an adult diaper, ruling out any risk.”

© ProtegeryServir / Twitter

History of Fake Bomb Alerts

Hoaxes involving fake bombs date back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries. During that time, people sometimes planted objects resembling bombs to create fear or chaos. Additionally, hoaxes involving fake explosives became more common with the advent of dynamite. During World War II, many cities in Europe faced heavy bombing, and fake bomb alerts were used as tactics by enemy forces to divert attention and resources. This made it difficult for authorities to determine whether a bomb threat was genuine or a hoax.

After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States, security measures were significantly heightened, leading to an increase in the number of bomb threats and hoaxes. Many of these threats were made via anonymous phone calls, emails, or letters.

Not the First Time

Ted Kaczynski, also known as the Unabomber, is an infamous American domestic terrorist. This man carried out a nationwide bombing campaign over nearly two decades. Kaczynski earned a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Michigan and became an assistant professor at the University of California, Berkeley. However, he resigned from academia and began to live a reclusive life in a remote cabin in Montana. Between 1978 and 1995, Kaczynski carried out a nationwide bombing campaign targeting individuals involved with modern technology and industrial society. His homemade bombs killed three people and injured 23 others.

Kaczynski’s identity remained a mystery for years. However, in 1995, his brother David Kaczynski became suspicious and informed the authorities. Ted Kaczynski was arrested on April 3, 1996, at his cabin in Montana. Afterward, in 1998, Kaczynski pleaded guilty to all charges and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. He avoided the death penalty by making this plea.

This peculiar incident not only highlights the vigilance of officials when it comes to security threats but also serves as a reminder of the sometimes unexpected and unusual situations that can unfold in the realm of air travel.

You might also want to read: The Trevi Fountain Incident – This Tourist Took It Too Far

Orgesta Tolaj

Your favorite introvert who is buzzing around the Hive like a busy bee!