'Bomb' on Air France flight prompts emergency landing

The Boeing 777 Air France flight 463 parked at Moi International Airport in Kenya.
The Boeing 777 Air France flight 463 parked at Moi International Airport in Kenya. PHOTO: EPA

MOMBASA (Kenya) • An Air France flight from Mauritius to Paris made an emergency landing in Mombasa after a passenger discovered what appeared to be a bomb, Kenyan security officials said.

Air France chief executive Frederic Gagey said at a press conference yesterday that the suspected package turned out to have been made of paper and a timer, the BBC reported.

A passenger aboard Flight 463 had found what appeared to be an explosive device with a timer in the plane's toilet, Interior Ministry spokesman Mwenda Njoka said. Bomb experts removed the suspicious item and took it for analysis, he added. There were 459 passengers and 14 crew on board, according to media reports.

Air France has been the target of anonymous threats at least three times since a terrorist attack in Paris on Nov 13 killed 130 people. Security concerns have also increased in Kenya after numerous attacks by the Al-Shabaab Islamist militants linked to Al-Qaeda.

Police spokesman Charles Owino said several passengers were hurt while scrambling off the plane when it landed yesterday, but added that everything was "now under control".

BLOOMBERG, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 21, 2015, with the headline ''Bomb' on Air France flight prompts emergency landing'. Print Edition | Subscribe