An Air France flight from Mauritius to Paris CDG was forced to make an emergency landing in Kenya after a suspicious package was found in a toilet.
Air France flight AF-463 with 459 passengers and 14 crew on-board made an emergency landing on Sunday at Mombasa’s Moi International Airport.
Kenyan Airports Authority claimed that they had managed to “foil a bombing attempt on Air France.” They later amended their statement after it emerged that the bomb was a fake and was made up of papers and a timer.
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Mombasa airport and the Boeing 777 were evacuated, while the device was taken away for examination.
The suspicious device, made up of carton, sheets of paper, and a kitchen timer, was found behind a mirror in a bathroom.
“We confirm of an emergency landing by Air France’s flight from Mauritius at Moi Int’l Airport this morning after reports of a suspicious object was found on board,”Kenya Airports Authority said in a statement. “The object has successfully been retrieved from the Paris bound flight. Scheduled flights to Mombasa were disrupted this morning due to the incident.”
Airport operations have returned to normal and Kenya’s National Security Agents and Air France launched investigations into the incident.
Earlier, the Kenya Airports Authority said it was able to “foil a bombing attempt on Air France” before it edited its statement.
Benoit Lucchini, a passenger, told BBC News that passengers were calm and were told by the crew that the plane was being diverted due to a technical problem.
“The plane just went down, slowly, slowly, slowly, so we just realised probably, something was wrong,” Lucchini said. “But the personnel of Air France were just great, just wonderful. So they keep everybody calm and really quiet.”
The device found on board Air France which landed in mombasa earlier today #AF463 #AirFrance pic.twitter.com/rvSJuHWFx1
— kenyaleaks (@KEleaks) December 20, 2015
France remains on high alert after the Islamic State attacks in Paris that killed at least 130 people on Nov. 13.
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