Yesterday afternoon it was all over the news that a bomb has been found on an Air France airliner that was diverted to Kenya. This turned out to be a false alert, the suspicious object wasn’t a bomb.
While initially reporting the alleged ‘bomb’ had been taking off the aircraft and being on it’s way to be detonated at a remote site it didn’t take very long for the leading authorities in the case to confirm that the suspected items was not a detonating device and posed no danger to the safety of passengers and aircraft. In short: It was a false alarm.
LoyaltyLobby reported about it yesterday (access here) where you can also find the news from yesterday as well as some screenshots of Twitter messages by relevant authorities.
Today, the Guardian whose story we linked yesterday corrected their article as well (see here).
A suspicious device that forced an Air France plane en route from Mauritius to Paris to make an emergency landing in Mombasa was a false alarm, the airline’s chief executive officer has said.
After the suspicious device was discovered, the plane landed at Moi international airport in Mombasa before 1am.
The Air France chief executive, Frédéric Gagey, told a news conference a decision was made to land at the closest airport able to handle a Boeing 777 aircraft after a passenger found the object in the toilets.
“All the information available to us at the moment indicates that the object was not capable of creating an explosion or damaging a plane, but was rather a mixture of cardboard, sheets of paper and a timer,” he said. “It was a false alarm.”
He added that those on board were evacuated via the emergency slides. Gagey congratulated the crew for their cool-headed reaction to divert the plane. He said a safety check had been carried out in the toilets before the flight and denied any security failure.
These events must have left the passengers very scared and they will likely not forget this ordeal for quite some time if ever.
Thankfully a false alert in this case. Even though it certainly caused severe disruptions and bad emotions with the passengers, at no point in time was anyone in danger while this situation unfolded.
It displays however how sensitive we have become when it comes to security matters and that people should think twice about leaving closed objects in public places. I remember three weeks ago when i flew out of Frankfurt Airport and had a box with a brand new pair of shoes. I stowed the shoes in my suitcase and was about to leave the box behind next to the garbage until it hit me that it probably wasn’t such a great idea and i destroyed it. A stupid little thing but it can have consequences for others so we might want to keep our eyes open when traveling – for others and our own actions at the same time.