This morning the Phillip Goldson International Airport was shaken by a bomb scare. But it wasn't the usual type of bomb threat called in by idle pranksters: this one came from the pilot of a Delta flight flying from Atlanta to Belize. A few minutes before touchdown the pilot called to say there was a bomb threat on board. Airport management immediately launched into its full emergency response and closed the airport temporarily - while isolating the jet at the far end of the runway.

7news was on the scene and we found out how an incident that might have become an international incident was prompted by a silly teenage prank:

Lt. Col. David Jones, BDF Bomb Expert
"The information I receive here while I was at Price Barracks is that there is a possible bomb in a Delta aircraft that is inbound to Belize."

Jules Vasquez Reporting
A bomb on board? Hardly. What caused the scare was this message etched on a Belize Immigration form: "Help" - with an arrow pointing to a passenger in an adjoining seat - and then on the other side of the form - the drawing of a mushroom cloud from a bomb. Those two messages drawn up by a French teenager as a prank triggered the bomb threat aboard this Delta Airlines flight from Atlanta this morning.

Lt. Col. David Jones, BDF Bomb Expert
"After interviewing the young teenager - he explain that he was only playing a prank with a friend at the back. He held up a sign on an immigration form stating HELP! The flight attendant notice the sign - went forward and ask him what was the problem and that was when the flight attendant saw the reverse side of the form with the drawing of a mushroom atomic bomb going off. So that alerted the flight attendant to go forward - inform the pilot - the pilot in tern radio our tower here in Belize - informing that there is a possible explosive device on the plane and we should have preparations to deal with it when they arrive in Belize. That was about 30 minutes before they arrive here in Belize."

The jet, a Canadair CRJ9 with 71 passengers and four crew on board landed at 11:21 and was isolated at the far end of the runaway - so far that this grainy image was the best our cameras could get.

Lt. Col. David Jones, BDF Bomb Expert
"They actually isolated the aircraft a distance from the building so if there was an accident if wouldn't have had collateral damage. when I got there the aircraft was already on the ground - the passengers were still inside and we decided then to get the passengers out and then subsequent immediately after we took all the passengers off - got them in a bus and then took them over at the airport."

While that was happening airport security and police kept the media here two miles from the airport where we couldn't see anything at all while civilians with business at the airport were allowed to freely pass.

And while we were kept far away, passengers say they were kept out of the loop:

Jason Robert Bell - Passenger
"They didn't tell us much of anything. They said that it was a security issue and we sat there for a long time. They brought out a bus - they brought out firemen and soldiers. We sat there, then we got off then they made us all stand - they bark orders at us. There was like a "Adolf Hitler" guy with a funny mustache who yelled at us."

Jules Vasquez
"At any time did you feel personally insecure?"

Passenger
"It was bizarre, we actually didn't know. We were brought to this kind of like warehouse place - I was like "this is the airport" (laughs) We didn't know where we were."

Jason Robert Bell - Passenger
"They wouldn't tell us what was happening. That was why we were insecure because they were very serious the whole time. They tell us not to film anything. They made one gentleman delete his photographs from his camera. The frustration was that they didn't say what was happening."

In the end nothing happened - it was treated as a very serious scare though - and one teenager is now under intense scrutiny:

Jules Vasquez
"How old is this teenager?"

Lt. Col. David Jones, BDF Bomb Expert
"This teenager is probably about 16-17 years old."

Jules Vasquez
"He has been taken into custody?"

Lt. Col. David Jones, BDF Bomb Expert
"He is now in custody. The police have him - he is being interrogated. What follows from there - I am not sure what they will do with him from there."

Jules Vasquez
"Now it's all a prank. You search the plane personally?"

Lt. Col. David Jones, BDF Bomb Expert
"I personally search the plane and there was nothing to be found. I search every seat, the overhead cabin, under the aircraft, everywhere inside the aircraft. There was no explosive device on the aircraft. This fellow is from France - he is a French guy. He doesn't speak English fluently and so we had to get a translator. He explain that the young lady that was sitting down beside him was bored, so he drew the word HELP on the paper with an arrow pointing to the young lady - he held it up and show it to his friend who was 4 rows behind him. That was when the flight attendant saw it. He said because he friend was bored - he wanted to get him a bit of excitement. That was all."

And if it's excitement he wanted - he got enough to cause an international incident:

Lt. Col. David Jones, BDF Bomb Expert
"He is aware of what he cause and he is definitely sorry for what he cause and he feel the brunt of the repercussions thereafter now."

Before noon the runway was opened for domestic flights with planes landing at the east end instead of the traditional approach from the west.

By 1:00 pm the Delta jet had been fully searched and brought back to the customary taxi area.

Delta Passengers eventually cleared customs about two hours later. But as for the 16 year old - he is still detained by police along with his mother at the CIB office in Belize city. Police can't say when he'll be released…..