Two Air France Planes Diverted Over Threats
Two Air France flights originating in the U.S. and headed to Paris were forced to make emergency landings overnight after anonymous threats were made against both.
Between the terrorist attack in Paris last week, and the now-confirmed downing of a flight in Egypt via a bomb placed onboard, there is heightened awareness and concern of any threat at the moment. Officials decided both flights should land and be inspected after the mid-air threats were received.
So Air France Flight 65 from Los Angeles International Airport and Air France Flight 55 from Dulles International — both headed for Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris — were diverted. Flight 65 landed in Salt Lake City International Airport in Utah, while Flight 55 touched down in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Government sources told CNN that both threats were made from the ground, although they are unsure if it came from the same place or the same person.
A passenger on the flight from Los Angeles, Keith Rosso, told NBC News that about two hours into the flight, as they were having a meal in business class, flight attendants hurriedly grabbed plates and announced the plane was making an emergency landing.
Passengers from both flights were asked to exit the aircraft and were taken to airport terminals, where were interviewed by the FBI in Salt Lake City and by Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in Canada.
Air France spokesperson Christophe Paumier said both flights were "subjects of anonymous threats received by phone after takeoff … authorities are carrying out complete inspections of the aircraft, the passengers and their luggage."
According to Reuters.com, French police were involved in a shootout in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis Wednesday. Authorities believed a member of the Islamic State who is considered the suspected mastermind of the attacks was held up inside an apartment.
There were initially reports of another shooting, but it was actually the organized police raid. The incident was unrelated to the Air France planes being diverted.
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