Air Force jets intercept Korean Airlines jet near Anchorage

Posted: Tuesday, September 11, 2001

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Police ordered the evacuation of several major buildings in the city's downtown Tuesday after air traffic conrollers lost contact with a Korean Air Lines jet headed for the city.

Fighter jets from Elmendorf Air Force base were sent to intercept the jet, which was 160 miles from the city.

Alaska Gov. Tony Knowles said air traffic controllers received an emergency transponder signal from the aircraft, indicating low fuel or a highjacking. The transponder signal turned out to be a low fuel indicator.

The plane was diverted to Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada.

The evacuation of major hotels and federal buildings was canceled a few minutes after city officials learned the plane did not pose a threat.

Korean Airlines flies regularly to Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, the nation's sixth-largest cargo airport.

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