CHICAGO (CBS) — A terrorism scare forced a United Airlines plane carrying Illinois students to make an emergency landing in Europe Monday.
Parents in the far northwest suburbs are saying their prayers that their children make it back safely Tuesday.
CBS 2’s Lauren Victory spoke with some of the teens on that flight.
Elizabeth Aragon says after graduation, she traveled nearly 5,000 miles away with seven other Marian Central Catholic classmates on a trip to Italy.
“It was just amazing,” Aragon stated. “We walked, on average, ten miles a day and saw tons of sites.”
The trip, however, ended with a scare in the skies.
Parents are unexpectedly sending prayers in an emergency mass in Cary, Illinois. The mass was called after possible terrorism diverted the teens’ Chicago-bound plane from Rome to Ireland.
“The pilot came over and said that there was a message that had been written in the bathroom on the mirror in sharpie and that it was taken as a threat,” Aragon recalled.
The flight crews discovered a second alarming note, said Aragon’s classmate, Kevin Santopadre.
“I was just trying to do whatever I could not to panic,” Santopadre said.
Parents said they were Face-timing from back home as their children were on the flight.
“She goes ‘Mom, I see the green, I see the land, we’re coming in hot’ and then we lost connectivity,” said Elizabeth Aragon’s mom, Karen Aragon. “All of the sudden, my phone rang and her face popped up and I was like ‘Elizabeth?’ and she said ‘Mom, we’re on the ground. There’s emergency vehicles surrounding the plane. I don’t know what’s going on, but I’ll call you when I can.’”
Elizabeth says their bags were searched and police asked them for writing samples.
So far, there are no reports of arrests.
The kids and chaperones are spending the night in Shannon, Ireland. They are scheduled to land in Chicago around 5 pm Tuesday.