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U.S.-bound flight diverted to Ireland after security scare

NEW YORK/DUBLIN (Reuters) – A United Airlines flight from Rome to Chicago was diverted to Ireland’s Shannon Airport on Monday after a message perceived as a possible security concern was found on board, Irish police and airline officers mentioned.

The message made reference to a bomb on the airplane, a supply with information of the investigation instructed Reuters.

The 207 passengers and 11 crew members disembarked from the Boeing 767-330 at Shannon Airport at 2:15 p.m. native time, in accordance to Jim Molloy, a consultant of Ireland’s police power.

The passengers of flight UA971 had been within the strategy of being searched, he mentioned in an emailed assertion, however gave no additional particulars concerning the nature of the menace.

United mentioned in an announcement that the touchdown was due to “a potential security concern,” however declined to remark additional.

“After assessing the situation, our crew made the decision to divert to the nearest available airport,” it mentioned. “Additional security screenings will be performed on all customers and baggage.”

The airline mentioned on Twitter that the flight was now canceled and would depart for Chicago on Tuesday.

The U.S. authorities was conscious of the incident and searching for to set up whether or not there was any violent intent behind the menace, a U.S. authorities supply acquainted with the investigation instructed Reuters.

A second U.S. authorities supply mentioned related incidents involving threatening notes discovered on airplanes occur about as soon as every week.

The handwriting on the be aware was being analyzed to see if it matched with another such notes, that are periodically discovered on plane, one of many sources mentioned. It was not clear whether or not the be aware was posted within the toilet prior to takeoff or in the course of the flight.

Police had been additionally taking handwriting samples from the passengers, the Irish Times reported. The message was discovered within the airplane bathroom, it mentioned, with out citing sources.

The United jet accomplished its descent after jettisoning a number of the gasoline loaded for its transatlantic crossing, in accordance to recordings on air visitors management website LiveATC.internet.

Reporting by Alana Wise and Graham Fahy; further reporting by Conor Humphries in Dublin, Tim Hepher in Paris and Mark Hosenball in Washington; writing by Rosalba O’Brien; enhancing by Bill Rigby and G Crosse

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