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Flight diverted for ‘security issue’ gets fighter jet escort

Updated: May 22, 2012 1:51PM



AUGUSTA, Maine — A US Airways jetliner flying from Paris to Charlotte, N.C., was diverted to a Maine airport on Tuesday after an apparently mentally unstable French passenger announced that she had a surgically implanted device, a U.S. official briefed on the investigation said.

The woman, a French citizen born in Cameroon, did not have any checked baggage, and there was no information that indicated she was a known or suspected terrorist, according to another official. Both officials spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it involved sensitive law enforcement information.

Flight 787, a Boeing 767 with 179 passengers and nine crew members, landed around noon at Bangor International Airport, said US Airways spokesman Andrew Christie. Two F-15 fighters were scrambled to escort the jetliner to the ground.

With the passenger in custody, the flight was cleared to resume, one of the officials said.

The Transportation Security Administration issued a statement saying it was aware of “a passenger who exhibited suspicious behavior” during the flight.

“Out of an abundance of caution the flight was diverted to (Bangor) where it was met by law enforcement,” the statement said.

The plane was met by state, local and federal law enforcement officers in Bangor, FBI spokesman Greg Comcowich said.

The Bangor airport is accustomed to dealing with diverted flights.

It’s the first large U.S. airport for incoming European flights and 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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