Bomb scare puts bus passengers out on sizzling interstate

AP News
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Posted: Jun 22, 2016 7:44 PM
Bomb scare puts bus passengers out on sizzling interstate

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A report about a bomb forced dozens of passengers to evacuate a tour bus and wait on the shoulder of a busy interstate highway in searing summer heat, a Nevada Highway Patrol spokesman said Wednesday.

The noon incident stopped traffic on the main highway from Las Vegas to Los Angeles for about 90 minutes until authorities determined there was no bomb on the bus.

One of the 53 passengers aboard the full-sized coach was arrested while paramedics checked several others and the driver for heat ailments before the scene was declared safe and Interstate 15 reopened to traffic, Trooper Jason Buratczuk said.

No one was hospitalized or reported to have been seriously injured, he said.

Buratczuk identified the bus owner as Silver Line Tours. Calls to a Las Vegas company with that name didn't immediately connect.

Outdoor temperatures were climbing toward 109 degrees and the bus was headed from North Las Vegas to Los Angeles when a passenger's cellphone call to his grandmother about someone onboard threatening to have a bomb led to the massive freeway snarl, Buratczuk said.

The grandmother called authorities, and highway patrol troopers found the bus stopped on the shoulder of the interstate about 15 miles south of the Las Vegas Strip.

Troopers ordered passengers off the bus and closed the freeway in both directions until a bomb squad arrived and inspected the vehicle.

Buratczuk didn't immediately identify the man who was arrested and questioned by agents with the FBI and federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The man was initially held on unspecified misdemeanor warrants issued this year in Henderson and North Las Vegas.

It wasn't clear if the man would face federal charges.

The driver and passengers re-boarded the bus and resumed their four-hour trip to Los Angeles, Buratczuk said.