Philly Boeing plant evacuated over threat

Published: 9:36 AM EDT Sep 11, 2012   Updated: 11:03 AM EDT Sep 11, 2012
Ridley  Park, Pa., Boeing plant

Part of a Boeing plant in suburban Philadelphia has been evacuated and police are investigating after officials say they received a threat related to the facility.

Boeing spokesman Damien Mills says several hundred employees at the facility were evacuated between 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. Tuesday after officials received some sort of threat. He would not say how the threat was received.

Ridley Township police are responding and say it related to some sort of note left in a bathroom.

The plant occupies a sprawling site a few miles south of Philadelphia.

The facility is part of Boeing's Defense, Space and Security unit and produces aircraft including the H-47 Chinook helicopter and the V-22 Osprey.

"The threat related to one of our production facilities," said Boeing spokesman Damien Mills.

Another spokesman, Andrew Lee, said it remained uncertain whether workers would return to their jobs later Tuesday.

Doc Price, 63, who works as an aircraft tech on the Chinook, said they got word to leave the building early.

"They just said, 'Everyone, out of the building,'" he said.

Asked if there was any word on who left the note, Price said he didn't know, but added that "somebody probably made a major mistake."

Last year, federal agents raided the facility and charged more than three dozen people with distributing or trying to get prescription drugs, among them powerful painkillers.

In November 2008, Boeing temporarily shut down two production lines after a plastic cap was found in the fuel line of an in-production Osprey. The company later submitted a corrective action plan and restarted production.

In May 2008, the factory was shut down when a disgruntled employee used his work-issued wire cutters to sever about 70 electrical wires in a nearly finished Chinook. That employee, Matthew Montgomery, of Trevose, pleaded guilty to destroying property under contract to the government. Authorities said he was upset about a job transfer.