AN AIR FRANCE flight from Mauritius to Paris was forced to land in the Kenyan coastal city of Mombasa after a device suspected to be a bomb was found in the lavatory.
The Boeing 777 Air France flight 463 was heading to Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris when the pilot requested an emergency landing at the Moi International Airport at 12.37AM, police spokesman Charles Owino said.
“It requested an emergency landing when a device suspected to be an explosive was discovered in the lavatory,” Owino said.
Investigators are working to confirm whether the package found on the flight did contain explosives.
Air France says the plane was carrying 459 passengers and 14 crew members.
Kenya’s interior minister says several people who were on the flight are being questioned in Mombasa.
All passengers were safely evacuated and the device was taken out, said Owino. Bomb experts are analysing the suspected explosive, he said.
The airport in Mombasa was closed during the evacuation and search process.
Passenger Benoit Lucchini says everything was calm and passengers thought there was simply a technical problem as their flight to Paris was being diverted to the Kenyan city of Mombasa:
The plane just went down slowly, slowly, slowly. So we just realised probably something was wrong, but the personnel of Air France were just great. They were just wonderful. So they kept everybody calm. We did not know what was happening.
He spoke to journalists in Mombasa after getting off the plane.