An American Airlines flight heading from Los Angeles to London was diverted to New York on Thursday over security concerns but US authorities said the incident was likely a ‘misunderstanding’, US media reported.
Police had boarded the plane in New York and removed a passenger of Middle Eastern descent after the flight crew had spotted the same man on an employee bus earlier, CNN television reported.
The passenger did not appear to have the correct identification showing he was an employee, CNN said.
The pilot told passengers there was a lack of fuel and he would land the London-bound plane at JFK airport in New York. It landed around 0800 GMT, CNN said.
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said in an interview that he had been informed by the airline that the passenger was an employee after all.
‘I have gotten a report that the individual in question was, in fact, an employee who was traveling in a private capacity,’ Chertoff told CNN.
‘I think the good news here, of course, is an alert crew sees something that’s anomalous or seems questionable and they take action. It may very well turn out that this is nothing more than a misunderstanding with an employee who used an employee bus to get on a plane for a private flight,’ Chertoff said.
‘The good news here is you have somebody who is alert on the crew taking appropriate steps at that point to take care of what might be a dangerous situation. That’s exactly what we are asking people to do: ‘when you see something, say something,’’ Chertoff added.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 12 Temmuz 2007, 19:25