SAO PAULO // 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 overnight, the airline said today. "Our flight left at 4.30pm," a passenger identified only as Livia told Brazil's GloboNews. "Around 7pm, 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. Air France said the 405 passengers and 18 crew on flight AF443 were 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 was positioned in a remote area, and all the passengers evacuated, Brazil's airport authority Infraero said in a statement.
"The flight will only be cleared when everything is safe," said Infraero spokeswoman Solange Argenta. Hand luggage and checked luggage would be reinspected, Infraero said. * Reuters