Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Unclaimed cellphone causes security scare on flight landing in Miami from Paris

Police investigated, then cleared what had been reported as a suspicious item onboard an American Airlines flight that arrived in Miami from Paris on Tuesday afternoon, authorities said.

The Miami-Dade Police Department's bomb squad cleared a suspicious item discovered onboard American Airlines Flight 63, which departed from Charles de Gaulle Airport, the airline said in an email.

Federal investigators said the suspicious item was a cellphone that a flight crew member discovered and no passenger would claim at the time, WPLG-Ch. 10 reported. During the investigation, a passenger came forward and claimed the phone.

The flight, which arrived around 3:32 p.m. at Miami International Airport, had 217 passengers and 14 crew members onboard, the airline said.

The aircraft was moved to a remote area for the investigation and passengers were kept in airport buses on the airfield while police inspected the plane, Miami-Dade Aviation Department Communications Director Greg Chin said in an email.

Both local authorities and federal investigators spent most of the afternoon "trying to determine if the item is something to be concerned about," Miami-Dade police posted on Twitter.

Just after 6:30 p.m., passengers reboarded the plane and were taken to Concourse D to go through U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Chin said.

Flight 63 is the same flight that was targeted in a failed bombing attempt about 14 years ago. On Dec. 22, 2001, Richard Reid tried and failed to detonate plastic explosives hidden in his shoes aboard the Miami-bound flight.


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