Air France jet lands in Brazil in security alert

SAO PAULO (BestGrowthStock) – A security alert over a possible bomb on board forced an Air France flight flying from Rio de Janeiro to Paris to make an unscheduled landing in Brazil’s northeast city of Recife, the airline said on Sunday.

Air France said the 405 passengers and 18 crew on flight AF443 had been evacuated while security checks were carried out on the Boeing 747-400.

“Air France confirms that the crew was informed in-flight of a threat of a possible presence of an explosive device on board,” said an Air France spokesman.

The airplane landed in Recife late Saturday and was positioned in a remote area of the airport and all the passengers evacuated, Brazil’s airport authority Infraero said in a statement.

The passengers were to be put up in hotel rooms while the plane was awaiting clearance, Infraero said.

Police finished their inspection of the plane without finding a bomb, Infraero said early Sunday.

About 60 percent of the luggage had been searched by the early hours of Sunday morning, with police expecting to finish by about 2 p.m. local time (1700 GMT), Infraero added.

“The flight will only be cleared when everything is safe,” Infraero spokeswoman Solange Argenta said.

“Our flight left at 16:30,” a passenger identified only as Livia told Brazil’s GloboNews. “Around 19:00, a little after dinner, we were informed that we would make a stop because of problems that they didn’t explain.”

The passengers remained calm, Livia told GloboNews.

(Reporting by Henri-Pierre Andre in Paris and Luciana Lopez in Sao Paulo; Editing by Eric Beech)

Air France jet lands in Brazil in security alert