A frenzied woman was restrained by fellow passengers on U.S. Airways flight 787 after she raised alarm that she had a bomb implanted inside her. The flight from Paris to Charlotte, North Carolina, was diverted to Bangor, Maine, for an emergency landing.
CNN reports fighter jets were scrambled to escort the plane to land at Maine airport. Passengers were evacuated and the woman arrested.
Daily Mail reports the plane was diverted at around 12 noon after the woman's outburst, while it was flying over Nova Scotia Canada. It landed at Bangor, Maine about two hours from its original destination.
The video shows flight passengers struggling with the woman after she began shouting that she had a bomb inside her. Daily Mail reports she had initially sent a note to the cabin crew. According to The Sun Daily, the woman, during the flight "handed a note to a flight attendant that said she had a surgically implanted device inside her."
CNN reports the woman is a French citizen, born in Cameroon, Africa and she was visiting the U.S. for 10 days.
According to Daily Mail, doctors on board the flight examined her and said there was no evidence of a recent surgery indicating she might have a bomb implanted inside her. Authorities investigating the case also say there were no explosives in her body. According to The Sun Daily, a US official told AFP it was unlikely that the suspect had links with international terrorist groups, including Al-Qaeda. The official said: "It doesn't appear to be any terrorist nexus at this point."
FBI joint terrorism task force, accompanied by a bomb squad, met the aircraft upon arrival. FBI spokesman Greg Comcowich, said: "FBI agents and members of a joint terrorism task force interviewed the passenger and others on the plane. At this time, there is no indication the plane or its passengers were ever in any actual danger."
US officials said initial reports suggest the woman is mentally unstable. The Sun Daily reports that a police source in Paris, said: "This woman is completely unknown to French police and intelligence in particular. She appears to be psychologically disturbed."
According to CBS, officials say she was taken for medical assessment and may face federal charges for interfering with a flight crew.
Andrew Kobayashi, a passenger on the flight, told CNN that the flight crew, possibly to prevent panic, said the plane was making an emergency landing due to fuel and strong headwinds. The pilot later apologized for the misleading information.
Kobayashi said he was sitting five rows in front of the woman who looked "nervous and jittery." Kobayashi told CNN: "I had briefly noticed her in the back of the plane being a weirdo...(She) seemed on edge, but no more so than anybody who is nervous about flying."
Alexa Moore, another passenger returning from a mission in Africa, who was seated five rows in front, said she saw the woman going to the bathroom holding her stomach. The Huffington Post reports Moore said: “I was sleeping in and out, but we did see her keep going to the bathroom. She was holding, like, her stomach and apparently she had like a note that said she had an explosive planted inside of her."
Moore said that soon after, there were several announcements asking if there was a doctor on board. She said: "We didn't know what was going on. I thought she probably had like some drugs on the plane but it was just like crazy. I was pretty shocked."
According to the North American Aerospace Defense, two F15 jets were dispatched to escort the plane to landing.
The Boeing 767 took off from Charles de Gaulle airport at around 11 a.m. local time for Charlotte Douglas International Airport. There were 179 passengers on board and nine crew members.
According to the TSA: "[We are] aware of reports of a passenger who exhibited suspicious behavior during flight. Out of an abundance of caution the flight was diverted to BGR where it was met by law enforcement."
The Sun Daily reports that last year, U.S. officials warned that terrorists may use explosive devises implanted in humans on flights. According to Senator Susan Collins, Republican on the Senate Homeland Security Committee, "intelligence identify surgically implanted bombs as a threat to air travel."
TSA chief John Pistole, who briefed Collins, said TSA had recently issued directives to airports and airlines "advising them to take added screening precautions and to be on the lookout for indicators of surgically implanted explosives."
The woman was taken into custody by the FBI, and flight 787 continued its journey to Charlotte, North Carolina.