Two Air France flights diverted in US over security threat

Two Air France flights en route to Paris from Los Angeles, Washington DC diverted in US over bomb threat

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Emergency personnel are shown on the tarmac at Salt Lake City International Airport in this photograph taken by passenger Keith Rosso from a seat inside Air France flight 65, November 17, 2015

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced on Tuesday that two Air France flights from Los Angeles and Washington DC to Paris diverted in the United States over suspicious and anonymous bomb threats.

An Airbus flight carrying 497 passengers from Los Angeles landed at Salt Lake City airport where all the passengers were taken off the plane, a FAA spokesman said.

A Boeing flight which took off from Dulles International Airport, Washington DC was diverted to Halifax International Airport in Nova Scotia.

According to the Halifax Airport announcement, 262 passengers and crew members had also been evacuated.

After diverting flights, Air France said both flights had been the "subjects of anonymous threats received after their respective take-offs."

"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 airline said in its statement.

"Local authorities are carrying out complete inspections of the aircraft, their passengers and their luggage," the statement said. "An investigation will be led by the authorities to identify the source of the telephone call."

Recently security officials have been on alert after 129 people were killed in terror attacks claimed by DAESH last week.

DAESH also claimed responsibility for downing a Russian plane flying from Sharm al Sheikh to St. Petersburg, where 224 people were killed .

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Halifax also tweeted on its personal Twitter account that the diversion of the plane was due to a bomb threat against the Air France.

"RCMP will be searching the Air France plane using police dogs trained in explosives," RCMP Nova Scotia also tweet.

A passenger from California, Keith Rosso said that everything was good at the beginning of the flight but then changed.

"The Flight attendants quickly came by and cleared plates, then there was an announcement that we were making an emergency landing and that the flight attendants were trained exactly for situations like this," Rosso said, the Associated Press reports.

TRTWorld and agencies