Air France flights to Paris di­verted over bomb scare

Air­line re­ceives anony­mous bomb threats

Kuwait Times - - INTERNAT IONAL -

LOS AN­GE­LES: Two Paris-bound Air France flights from the United States were di­verted Tues­day and landed safely af­ter the air­line re­ceived anony­mous bomb threats, the car­rier said. Flight 65 from Los An­ge­les and Flight 55 from Wash­ing­ton were “sub­ject to anony­mous threats re­ceived af­ter their re­spec­tive take­off,” the air­line said in a state­ment. The in­ci­dents took place just days af­ter last week’s terror at­tacks in Paris that left 129 peo­ple dead and sowed fear in the French cap­i­tal and be­yond. Air France said both planes landed safely and were un­der­go­ing safety checks. “As a pre­cau­tion­ary mea­sure and to con­duct all nec­es­sary se­cu­rity checks, Air France... de­cided to re­quest the land­ings of both air­craft,” the car­rier said. “Lo­cal au­thor­i­ties are car­ry­ing out com­plete in­spec­tions of the air­craft, the pas­sen­gers and their lug­gage.”

Air France said au­thor­i­ties were also track­ing the “source of the tele­phone calls.” It was un­clear if the same per­son had called in both threats. The flight from Dulles In­ter­na­tional Air­port out­side Wash­ing­ton with 262 peo­ple on board was di­verted to Hal­i­fax, Nova Sco­tia and landed at around 10:15 pm lo­cal time (0215 GMT, Wed­nes­day). The flight from Los An­ge­les trans­port­ing 497 pas­sen­gers and crew landed safely in Salt Lake City, Utah. “Sev­eral law en­force­ment agen­cies are work­ing to de­ter­mine the na­ture of the threats which caused the air­craft to di­vert,” FBI agent Todd Palmer, of the Salt Lake City di­vi­sion, told CNN.

A man on board the plane that landed in Hal­i­fax told the net­work that pas­sen­gers were in­formed that they were be­ing di­verted about two and a half hours into the flight “due to op­er­a­tional is­sues.” He said there was no panic on board and ev­ery­one dis­em­barked calmly. “Upon land­ing, one of the flight at­ten­dants said it was a se­cu­rity is­sue that needed to get ad­dressed,” said the man iden­ti­fied as Yianni. A pas­sen­ger on board the Los An­ge­les-Paris flight said “ev­ery­thing was go­ing swell” for the first two hours un­til flight at­ten­dants be­gan quickly clear­ing the din­ner trays.

Ger­man friendly can­celed

On Tues­day, a bomb threat also forced the can­ce­la­tion of Ger­many’s friendly against the Nether­lands. Ger­many’s in­te­rior min­is­ter, Thomas de Maiziere, took the de­ci­sion to call off the in­ter­na­tional friendly, based on a “con­crete threat,” two hours be­fore kick-off in Hanover. Ger­man Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel was rushed back to Berlin, and thou­sands of fans had to be evac­u­ated from the sta­dium. Both the Ger­man and Dutch team buses were turned back, as they were five min­utes from the sta­dium when the game was called off. De­spite a thor­ough search, no ex­plo­sives were found at the HDI Arena.

It was the sec­ond high-pro­file friendly to be can­celed in the wake of Fri­day’s at­tacks in the French cap­i­tal, fol­low­ing an ear­lier de­ci­sion by Bel­gian au­thor­i­ties to post­pone the coun­try’s game against Spain in Brussels amid se­cu­rity fears. The Is­lamic State group, which claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for the at­tacks in Paris, has threat­ened fur­ther at­tacks against France. It also warned in a new video on Mon­day that coun­tries in­volved in air strikes against IS tar­gets in Syria would suf­fer the same fate. France and Rus­sia have vowed mer­ci­less re­tal­i­a­tion for the Paris at­tacks and last month’s bomb­ing of a Rus­sian air­liner, also claimed by the Is­lamic State group, which have gal­va­nized in­ter­na­tional re­solve to de­stroy the ji­hadists and end Syria’s more than four-year civil war. — AFP

HAL­I­FAX: Air France Flight 55 taxis to the ter­mi­nal at Hal­i­fax Stan­field In­ter­na­tional Air­port yes­ter­day. The flight was on its way from Wash­ing­ton, DC to Paris when it made an emer­gency land­ing in Hal­i­fax af­ter the air­line re­ceived anony­mous threats. — AP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.