There was chaos on a US Airways flight when a woman claimed to have an explosive implanted inside her – forcing fellow passengers to physically restrain her.
Flight 787, carrying 179 passengers and travelling from Paris to Charlotte, North Carolina, was forced yesterday to make an emergency landing in Bangor, Maine, escorted by fighter jets, as a result of the woman’s frightening claim.
Peter King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, told ABC News that the claim was made in the form of a note that was passed to the pilots.
He described the woman as a 40-year-old from Cameroon, who had not checked any luggage in.
Student Alexa Moore, 20, was sitting five rows in front of the woman and told ABC News: “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 described how the captain made several requests for a doctor and eventually announced that the plane was critically low on fuel and would have to divert.
This was apparently to stop panic breaking out.
Doctors who came forward could find no evidence that anything had been surgically implanted in the woman.
When the plane touched down in Bangor police boarded and took her away in handcuffs.
Moore added: “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.”
However, it’s clear that some passengers knew about the bomb scare because footage handed to ABC News clearly shows the woman being restrained in the aisle.
Afterwards, the captain admitted to the passengers over the intercom that he'd lied about the aircraft being low on fuel and apologised.
A spokesman for the North American Aerospace Defense Command confirmed that two F-15s fighter jets had been scrambled to intercept the US Airways plane.
"Out of an abundance of caution, the flight was diverted to where it was met by law enforcement. The passenger in question is being interviewed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers," TSA spokesman Sterling Payne told CBS.