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US Airways flight "security issue"

12:27 PM, May 22, 2012   |    comments
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By Ben Mutzabaugh, USA TODAY

A US Airways flight flying from Paris to Charlotte has been diverted to an airport near a small city in Maine for a "security issue."

The Associated Press writes the disturbance came after "an apparently mentally unstable French passenger announced that she had a surgically implanted device, a U.S. official briefed on the investigation said."

However, CNN reports "doctors aboard U.S. Airways Flight 787 examined the woman and saw no sign of recent scars, according to the office of Rep. Peter King, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee."

The woman, a French citizen born in the African nation of Cameroon, is not suspected by authorities as having any ties to terrorism, according to AP, which cites unnamed officials.

The incident prompted two F-15 fighters to be scrambled to escort the plane, according to a spokesman for the North American Aerospace Defense Command. Such escorts are not uncommon when a passenger commotion is reported on a commercial flight.

The Boeing 767 was carrying 179 passengers and 9 crewmembers when it landed safely in Bangor, according to WBTV 3 of Charlotte.

The Transportation Security Administration acknowledged the incident in a statement to WCSH TV of Portland, Maine. The statement reads:

US Airways flight 787 (CDG-CLT) has landed safely in Bangor (BGR). TSA is aware of reports of a passenger who exhibited suspicious behavior during flight. Out of an abundance of caution the flight was diverted to BGR where it was met by law enforcement.

As for Bangor (airport code BGR), security and safety related flight diversions are nothing new for the city's airport.

AP notes "it's the first large U.S. airport for incoming European flights, and it's the last U.S. airport for outgoing flights, with uncluttered skies and one of the longest runways on the East Coast. Aircraft use the airport when there are mechanical problems, medical emergencies or unruly passengers."


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