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VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - Military jets escorted two airliners to land at western Canadian airports on Tuesday after they were barred from landing in the United States following the devastating attacks in New York and Washington.
A Korean Air Lines Co. flight from Seoul, with 190 people aboard, that was scheduled to make a refueling stop in Anchorage, Alaska, was followed by U.S. and Canadian military fighters to Whitehorse, Yukon, after the crew signaled it was in trouble. The problem later turned out to be it was low on fuel.
"It was unknown whether it was a hijacking signal or a low-fuel signal... We had to take all of the steps based that information at that time to assure the security of people that might be in harm's way in Anchorage," Alaska Governor Tony Knowles told a Juneau news conference.
Officials evacuated state office buildings in Anchorage, the Alaska Pipeline's terminal in Valdez, Alaska, and buildings around the airport in Whitehorse in case the Boeing 747 had been hijacked.
At the time the crew radioed it had a potential problem the aircraft was about 160 miles outside of Anchorage, near Yakutat. It was barred from landing at an Alaskan airport because of the closure of U.S. airspace imposed after the New York and Washington attacks.
A Royal Canadian Mounted Police official in Whitehorse said language difficulties complicated the situation, but they were able to confirm after the airliner landed that low fuel was the source of the problem.
Whitehorse is one of several Canadian airports being used to receive planes diverted from the United States.
U.S. fighter jets also escorted a U.S.-bound China Airlines Boeing 747 to land at Vancouver International Airport after it reported communications difficulties over the Pacific Ocean, airport officials said.
The plane was one of 34 U.S.-bound flights from Asian airports that was diverted to Vancouver on Tuesday, but it was believed to be the only one escorted by military jets.＜本文发表于: 相约加拿大:枫下论坛 www.rolia.net/f ＞