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A Missouri man was arrested after he allegedly phoned in a fake bomb threat in hopes of delaying a jet long enough for his girlfriend to catch the flight.

But the Korean Airlines flight already was en route to Seoul, and authorities allowed it to proceed after discovering the threat Thursday was a hoax.

Flavio D. Mendoza of Hazelwood, Mo., had called the airlines several times, urging them to hold the flight from San Francisco Airport so that his girlfriend could make the connection from St. Louis, the FBI said.

Later, an unidentified caller phoned an operator claiming he overheard two men discuss an explosion aboard the flight.

Authorities said Mendoza later admitted to police that he made the fake threat, prompting officials to notify the pilots to proceed en route to Korea.

Mendoza was taken into federal custody in St. Louis pending a hearing Monday. He faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of making a false report of a terrorist act.

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