Posted: Apr 27, 2010 4:15 PM by Letitia Walker
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - An American citizen on a flight from Paris
to Atlanta claimed to have a fake passport and said he had
explosives in his luggage, forcing federal air marshals to
intervene and the plane to land in Maine, U.S. officials said
The officials, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of
anonymity because the investigation was ongoing, believe the man's
passport was authentic.
There were 235 passengers and 13 crew aboard Delta Air Lines
Flight 273, which landed safely just after at 3:30 p.m. at Bangor
International Airport, Delta spokeswoman Susan Elliott said.
Federal officials met the aircraft at the airport. The
Transportation Security Administration said the passenger was being
interviewed by law enforcement.
After the man was apprehended, flight attendants moved
passengers forward to clear out space in the rear of the plane, a
passenger told CNN.
"We were told there was some danger and some threats made, but
beyond that we weren't told anything else," said the passenger,
Adithya Sastry. Sastry said a passenger sitting next to him told
him that the "young man" who was apprehended was carrying a
Elliott said late Tuesday afternoon that the Airbus A330
remained on the ground in Bangor but that the airline planned to
continue the flight to Atlanta.
All passengers were taken off the plane because it was an
international flight and they needed to clear customs, said Rebecca
Hupp, a spokeswoman for Bangor International Airport.
The Bangor airport is accustomed to dealing with diverted
It's the first large U.S. airport for incoming European flights,
and it's the last U.S. airport for outgoing flights, with
uncluttered skies and one of the longest runways on the East Coast.
Aircraft use the airport when there are mechanical problems,
medical emergencies or unruly passengers.
Delta, based in Atlanta, is the world's largest airline and has
a joint venture with Air France-KLM on flights across the Atlantic.