Two Air France planes flying to Paris from Washington and Los Angeles were forced to divert to Halifax and Salt Lake City due to bomb threats.
Air France confirmed in a statement that both flights AF055 and AF065 were diverted because they had received anonymous threats after take off.
“As a precautionary measure and to conduct all necessary security checks, Air France, applying the safety regulations in force, decided to request the landings of both aircraft,” the statement said. “Local authorities are carrying out complete inspections of the aircraft, the passengers and their luggage. An investigation will be led by the authorities to identify the source of the telephone call.”
— Keith Rosso (@keithrosso) November 18, 2015
Both flights landed safely Tuesday night and were searched and given the all-clear by Canadian and U.S. authorities
Sky news reports: Intelligence agents are investigating the source of the telephone calls.
It was unclear whether the warnings for both flights were from the same person. FBI agent Todd Palmer told CNN: “Several law enforcement agencies are working to determine the nature of the threats which caused the aircraft to divert.
“ A passenger on the flight from Dulles, which landed safely in Halifax, Canada, with 262 passengers, said they were informed the plane was being diverted after two-and-a-half hours of flying. He said: “Upon landing, one of the flight attendants said it was a security issue that needed to get addressed.”
The Los Angeles flight, which had 497 people on board, landed safely in Utah. American authorities said they found “no credible threat” after searching the plane, passengers and luggage in Salt Lake City. Royal Canadian Mounted Police said no evidence of an explosive device had been uncovered during their searches.
Passengers later reboarded the planes and completed their journey to Paris.
The incidents were the latest in a series of security scares coming in the immediate aftermath of the deadly terrorist attacks in the French capital.
On Tuesday, four people were removed from a Baltimore-to-Chicago Spirit Airlines flight after a fellow passenger reported “suspicious activity”.
Police later said the potential threat turned out to be someone watching a news report on their smartphone.
Also on Tuesday, a British Airways flight from London to Boston notified police before landing that the crew had restrained a passenger who tried to open an exit door mid-flight. State Police said the female passenger was “drunk”, and the incident had no connection to terrorism.
Both of the Air France threats have turned out to be false alerts:
— Air France Newsroom (@AFnewsroom) November 18, 2015