A US Airways flight from France to North Carolina was diverted Tuesday to Bangor, Maine, escorted there by two F-15 fighter jets, after a passenger behaved suspiciously, authorities said.
Flight 787, which was headed from Paris to Charlotte, landed safely at 12:05 p.m.. There were 179 passengers and nine crew members on board the Boeing 767, according to the airline.
“TSA was made aware of reports of a passenger who exhibited suspicious behavior during flight. Out of an abundance of caution the flight was diverted to [Bangor] where it was met by law enforcement,” Transportation Security Administration spokesman David Castelveter said in a statement.
Castleveter said late this afternoon that the person in queston was being interviewed by US Customs and Border Protection officers, while all the other passengers were currently waiting to re-board the flight and resume their trip to Charlotte.
Sen. Susan Collins of Maine says two doctors examined the woman, who was born in Cameroon, but found no scars or incisions.
Officials briefed on the incident told The Associated Press that a French passenger passed a note to a flight attendant saying she had a surgically implanted device. Senator Susan Collins of Maine told the AP that two doctors examined the woman, who was born in Cameroon, but found no scars or incisions.
Airline spokeswoman Liz Landau said there was a “security issue” aboard the plane.
Two F-15s assigned to the 104th Fighter Wing at Barnes Air National Guard base in Westfield, Mass., “were scrambled under the direction of North American Aerospace Defense Command at [11:40 Eastern Daylight Time] in response to an incident aboard a US Airways flight,” said Air Force Technical Sergeant Thomas Doscher, a NORAD spokesman.
Bangor airport tower communications referred to the plane as an “emergency aircraft” as it approached.
In July, US security officials warned airlines that terrorists were considering surgically hiding bombs inside humans to evade airport security. Recent intelligence indicated a fresh interest in using the tactic, the AP reported at the time.