- REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
- An Air France flight made an emergency landing in Ireland after a mobile phone found on board was not claimed by any passengers.
- The flight, scheduled to fly from Paris to Chicago, was met by the police and fire engines when it landed at Shannon Airport, and the police said they scanned the phone.
- The phone was deemed safe, and the Irish newspaper The Journal reported that it could have been left by a passenger on a previous flight and gone unnoticed by the cleaning crew.
- Passengers stayed on the plane while the phone was checked, and the plane took off again more than two hours after it made the emergency landing.
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An Air France plane bound for Chicago was diverted to Ireland’s Shannon Airport on Sunday after a cellphone was found on board and wasn’t claimed by any passenger.
Air France flight 136 from Paris was two hours into the flight and over the Atlantic on Sunday when it requested to turn back and land at the airport on Ireland’s west coast for “security reasons,” the Irish news outlet The Journal reported.
Air France said in a statement to the aviation news website Simple Flying that the crew “decided to divert as a precautionary measure after a mobile phone was found and not claimed by the passengers on board.”
The flight landed in Shannon at 4:41 p.m. A representative for An Garda Síochána, the Irish police force, told The Journal: “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.”
The flight-tracking website Flightradar24 shows the plane’s path as it asked to return to Ireland:
- FlightRadar 24
The plane was met at Shannon Airport by fire crews, the airport police, and the national police, The Journal reported.
Officials believe the phone may have been left on board by a passenger on a previous flight and not found by cleaning crews, the outlet said.
Passengers stayed on the plane while the phone was checked at Shannon Airport, and after being refueled the plane took off again at 7 p.m. local time – two hours and 20 minutes after it first landed – according to The Journal.
While the police said the phone was given back to staff, Air France said in its statement that the plane landed in Shannon “to hand over the phone to the authorities before leaving for Chicago.”
It said: “Air France would like to remind you that all passengers, crew members and staff are subject to a screening inspection before being allowed to board a flight and that flight safety and its absolute imperative.”