Two Air France flights to Paris diverted by 'bomb scare'

18th November 2015, Comments 0 comments

Two Air France flights bound for Paris from the United States were diverted Tuesday and landed safely after the airline received anonymous bomb threats, the carrier said.

Flight 65 from Los Angeles and Flight 55 from Washington were "subject to anonymous threats received after their respective takeoff," the airline said in a statement.

The incidents took place just days after last week's terror attacks in Paris that left 129 people dead and sowed fear in the French capital and beyond.

Air France said both planes landed safely and were undergoing safety checks.

"As a precautionary measure and to conduct all necessary security checks, Air France... decided to request the landings of both aircraft," it said.

"Local authorities are carrying out complete inspections of the aircraft, the passengers and their luggage."

Air France said authorities were also tracking the "source of the telephone call."

It was unclear if the same person had called in both threats.

"Several law enforcement agencies are working to determine the nature of the threats which caused the aircraft to divert," FBI agent Todd Palmer, of the Salt Lake City division in Utah, told CNN.

On Tuesday, a bomb threat also forced the cancelation of Germany's friendly against the Netherlands.

Germany's interior minister, Thomas de Maiziere, took the decision to call off the international friendly, based on a "concrete threat," two hours before kick-off in Hanover.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was rushed back to Berlin, and thousands of fans had to be evacuated from the stadium.

Both the German and Dutch team buses were turned back, as they were five minutes from the stadium when the game was called off.

Despite a thorough search, no explosives were found at the HDI Arena.

It was the second high-profile friendly to be canceled in the wake of Friday's attacks in the French capital, following an earlier decision by Belgian authorities to postpone the country's game against Spain in Brussels amid security fears.


© 2015 AFP

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