Flight 956 took off from Newark, New Jersey at 6 p.m. yesterday, bound for Geneva. The Boeing 767 was carrying 157 passengers and a crew of 11.
About two hours into the flight, a flight attendant found a camera stuffed into a sickness bag in the back of a seat. The seats behind the pocket where the sickness bag was located were not occupied. When none of the passengers claimed ownership, the crew declared an emergency and asked to land at Boston's Logan International Airport, the closest airport.
quotes an air traffic controller in Boston as saying, "I can't delay him. He's got a big problem. I got to get him in here. I got an emergency coming in quick."
Two F-15 fighter jets were scrambled to escort the United Airlines plane. One of the fighter jets experienced difficulties but managed to land safely at a military base. The 767 landed safely in Boston shortly after 9 p.m.
As CBS News
reports, the passengers left the aircraft at a remote area of the airport. Bomb technicians with the Massachusetts State Police then x-rayed the camera and determined it was harmless—it was just a camera.
reports, the plane took off and resumed the flight to Geneva around 10:30 p.m. AP
reports that the Transportation Security Administration, whose employees were sent to the airport, said the flight was diverted "out of an abundance of caution."
The diversion of Flight 956 was not the only problem United Airlines encountered yesterday. The Denver Post
reports that a plane was landing at Denver International Airport around 9 a.m. when it was struck by a bird. The collision left a gaping hole in the nose of the 737. The plane, that flew from Dallas-Fort Worth and carried 151 passengers, managed to land safely. No injuries were reported.
The ownership of the camera was later traced to a passenger on a previous flight.