A US Airways flight from Paris to Charlotte, N.C., has been diverted to Maine following what was described by an airline spokesman as a “security issue.”
An anonymous source briefed on the incident said that a passenger had announced she was carrying a surgically implanted explosive device. Sensitive law enforcement information prevented the source from disclosing their identity.
The Boeing 767 and all 179 passengers and nine crew members landed safely at Bangor International Airport at noon Tuesday, according to US Airways spokesman Andrew Christie.
According to the office of Rep. Peter King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, doctors aboard the flight examined the woman and found no sign of recent scarring. Authorities have determined that no bomb was involved in the incident, a senior federal law enforcement official told CNN. The same official said the woman would likely undergo a psychological evaluation.
According to a spokesman for the North American Aerospace Defense Command, two F – 15 fighter jets were sent to escort the plane to Maine.
A statement from the Transportation Security Administration stated the passenger “exhibited suspicious behavior” during the flight. The statement continued, “Out of an abundance of caution the flight was diverted to (Bangor) where it was met by law enforcement.”
The law enforcement personnel mentioned by the TSA included state, local and federal officers, according to FBI spokesman Greg Comcowich. Comcowich declined to comment on whether a suspect was in custody and instead referred all further questions to the TSA.
The Bangor airport is often the destination for diverted flights as it is the first large U.S. airport for incoming European flights and the last for outbound U.S. flights eastward. With one of the longest runways on the East Coast, it is often used by aircraft to land when mechanical problems, medical emergencies or out-of-control passengers exist.