Fake Bomb Forced Air France Jet to Land

Jet makes emergency landing in Kenya after suspicious item found in bathroom
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 20, 2015 5:52 AM CST
Updated Dec 20, 2015 9:34 AM CST
Suspected Bomb Forces Air France Landing
Passengers of an Air France plane which made an emergency landing at Moi International Airport ride on a bus after being evacuated from the plane in Mombasa Sunday, Dec. 20, 2015.   (Edwin Kana)

The suspicious device discovered in the bathroom of an Air France flight was a hoax, the CEO of Air France said Sunday. The Boeing 777 was heading to Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris from Mauritius when its pilots requested an emergency landing early Sunday at Kenya's coastal city of Mombasa. The device was made of cardboard, paper, and a household timer, said Frederic Gagey, the head of Air France. "This object did not contain explosives," he said. A few passengers are being questioned, said Kenya's Interior Minister Joseph Nkaissery, speaking at the Mombasa airport. "It requested an emergency landing when a device suspected to be an explosive was discovered in the lavatory," police spokesman Charles Owino said.

The plane was carrying 459 passengers and 14 crew members on board and had left Mauritius at 9pm, Owino said. "The object, believed to be an explosive device has successfully been retrieved from the aircraft," Kenya Airports Authority earlier tweeted, adding that scheduled flights to Mombasa were disrupted but normal operations have resumed. "The plane just went down slowly, slowly, slowly, so we just realized probably something was wrong," recounted passenger Benoit Lucchini. "The personnel of Air France was just great. So they keep everybody calm. We did not know what was happening. So we secured the seat belt to land in Mombasa because we thought it was a technical problem but actually it was not a technical problem. It was something ... wrong in the toilet, it could be a bomb." (More Air France stories.)

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