UPDATE: 12:20 p.m. EST — Air France CEO Frederic Gagey said the item found in the diverted plane's bathroom was a fake bomb, the Associated Press reported. Gagey said the object "did not contain explosives."
UPDATE: 9:50 a.m. EST — Kenya officials said they are inspecting a suspicious package removed from Air France Flight 463 that forced the plane to make an emergency landing en route to Paris from Mauritius Sunday. The airline labeled the incident a "false alarm," the BBC reported.
Bomb scare on Air France flight from Mauritius to Paris was "false alarm", airline chief says https://t.co/TvRP9ob57T
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) December 20, 2015
An Air France flight bound to Paris from Mauritius made an emergency landing in Kenya after a suspicious package was found on the plane’s lavatory, Kenyan police said Sunday. The Kenya Airports authority said that the package was retrieved by officials from the flight.
Flight AF 463, carrying 459 passengers and 14 crew members, left Mauritius at 5 p.m. GMT (11 a.m. EST, Saturday) and was due to arrive in Paris Charles de Gaulle airport at 4:50 a.m. GMT Sunday (10:50 p.m. EST, Saturday). The flight made an emergency landing at Moi International Airport, Mombasa, on 10:37 p.m. GMT Saturday (4:37 p.m. EST, Saturday).
"It [the flight] requested an emergency landing after a device suspected to be a bomb was discovered in the lavatory, an emergency was prepared and it landed safely and all passengers evacuated," Kenya police spokesman Charles Owino told Agence France-Presse. "Bomb experts from the Navy and the CID were called in and took the device which they are dismantling to establish if it had any explosives," Owino added.
Joseph Boinnet, second inspector general of police of Kenya, posted an official statement on Twitter saying that passengers were safely evacuated.
A passenger said that the situation in the plane was calm and passengers thought there was a technical issue after the flight was diverted to Mombasa.
"The plane just went down slowly, slowly, slowly. So we just realized probably something was wrong. [Air France crew] kept everybody calm. We did not know what was happening," the Associated Press quoted a passenger as saying.
— The Associated Press (@AP) December 20, 2015