Flight diverts to Shannon after security alert

Flight diverts to Shannon after security alert

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Photo: © Pat Flynn 2019

A transatlantic jet was forced to divert to Shannon Airport this afternoon following a security alert on board.

Air France flight AF-136 was travelling from Paris, France to Chicago in the U.S. when a ’suspicious’ mobile phone was found on the aircraft.

The flight was almost two hours into its journey when the pilot advised air traffic controllers that they wished to divert to Shannon Airport for “security reasons.”

The flight was cleared to turn around and divert to Shannon where airport authorities and An Garda Síochána had been alerted to the situation.

It’s understood that a mobile phone was found on board the aircraft and that efforts to identify an owner were unsuccessful. When no one came forward to claim the phone, the crew opted to divert to Shannon.

The flight landed safely at 4.41pm and was pursued along the runway by airport fire crews. The Airbus A330-200 jet was directed to a remote taxiway where airport police officers and Gardaí were waiting to meet the aircraft.

It’s thought that the phone may have been left on the aircraft by a passenger from a previous flight and that it lay undiscovered when the aircraft was cleaned later.

The jet was later moved to the terminal building where it was refuelled before continuing its journey to Chicago shortly before 7.00pm.

Garda Inspector Paul Slattery of Shannon said: “The phone was removed from the aircraft and taken to the terminal where it was X-rayed by airport police officers and Gardaí. Once we were satisfied the phone was safe, it was returned to Air France staff.”

Photo: © Pat Flynn 2019

 

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Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.

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