Worrying False bomb alarm causes Air France emergency landing in Kenya

The pilots of the Boeing 777 requested to land at Moi International Airport in Mombasa after the item was found in a toilet.

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An emergency landing of an Air France flight from Mauritius to Paris in Kenya was caused by a false bomb alarm, the airline's chief says.

Frederic Gagey told a news conference that the suspected package turned out to have been made of paper and a timer.

The pilots of the Boeing 777 requested to land at Moi International Airport in Mombasa after the item was found in a toilet.

Both the aircraft and airport were safely evacuated.

The pilots of the Boeing 777 requested to land at Moi International Airport in Mombasa after the suspect item was found in a toilet.

Both the aircraft and airport were safely evacuated while the item was removed from the plane.

Authorities in Kenya said they were questioning several passengers.

"Bomb experts from the Navy and DCI (Directorate of Criminal Investigations) have retrieved the device and are determining whether the components contained explosives," the government said in a statement.

Joseph Nkaissery, cabinet secretary at Kenya's ministry of interior, said authorities from France and Mauritius were helping with the investigation.

"We are in touch with Mauritius to know how security screening of passengers was done," Mr Nkaissery said. "A few passengers are being interrogated," he added.

Flights have now resumed from Moi International Airport, Kenya's airport authority said.

The plane was carrying 459 passengers and 14 crew members and had left Mauritius at 01:00 GMT, Mr Owino said.

It had been due to fly directly to Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris.

One of those on board, Benoit Lucchini, said passengers were calm and were told by the crew that the plane was being diverted because of a technical problem.

"The plane just went down, slowly, slowly, slowly, so we just realised probably, something was wrong," he said.

"But the personnel of Air France were just great, just wonderful. So they keep everybody calm and really quiet."

France is still on high alert following bomb attacks and shootings in Paris last month that killed 130 people.

So-called Islamic State (IS) said it carried out the attacks in response to France's military action in Syria.

Source: BBC

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