Two Air France flights diverted after bomb threats

Intelligence agencies are hunting the source of two anonymous warnings after flights were diverted

Air France plane
(Image credit: Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP/Getty Images)

Two Air France planes flying to Paris from the US with a total of around 750 people on board were diverted and landed safely early this morning after anonymous bomb threats were received.

Neither flight made it across the Atlantic: flight 55 from Washington Dulles airport landed in Halifax, Canada, while flight 65 from Los Angeles touched down in Salt Lake City, Utah.

It is not known who made the threats or who received them, says the Washington Post. Passengers on flight 65 were told only that they would have to land early because of an "unsafe flying condition".

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The airline tweeted that the flights were being diverted as a "precautionary measure" after being the "subjects of anonymous threats", while the Royal Canadian Mounted Police mentioned a "bomb threat" in its tweet.

An FBI agent from Salt Lake City told CNN that "several intelligence agencies" were working to "determine the nature of the threats". An airport official there confirmed that one threat at least was made by telephone.

An official told CNN that he was not aware of any unruly passengers on board flight 65 and this was supported by one passenger, Keith Russo, who told a local TV station that the passengers seemed generally calm.

Russo said he had just finished dinner on the Airbus A380, which CNN says carried 497 passengers, when cabin staff took trays away early and the pilot announced an emergency landing.

Once the passengers had been 'deplaned' at Salt Lake City, said Russo, they were told that they were to be interviewed with regard to the "unsafe flying condition".

Flight 55 from Dulles, meanwhile, landed safely in Canada with 262 people on board. Passengers were taken to a secure location and police said they were using dogs trained in detecting explosives to search the Boeing 777.

By 3.15am local time (7.15am in the UK), police had tweeted again to say they had completed searches of flight 55 and had found nothing. The Washington Post says nothing was found on flight 65 either.

CNN's Jonathan Gilliam says whether the threats were hoaxes or not, making them was an act of terrorism.

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