August 10, 2006

Box of plates diverts Air Canada US flight

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A suspicious package forced an Air
Canada flight to the United States to make an unscheduled
landing on Thursday with jittery air travelers on high alert
after British police foiled a plot to bomb several airlines.

The Air Canada flight to Reagan Washington National Airport
from Montreal was diverted to Baltimore after the pilot
reported a suspicious package on board, U.S. Transportation
Security Administration and Baltimore/Washington International
Airport said.

"The plane has been parked in a remote area and the
passengers were offloaded and it was searched," an airport
spokeswoman said. The flight landed about 4 p.m. (2000 GMT).

TSA spokeswoman Yolanda Clark said the package was found to
be a box of plates and trays.

Suspicious material also delayed passengers on a JetBlue
flight when it arrived in Austin from Boston, airline spokesman
Bryan Baldwin said. He said local authorities interviewed the
passengers and crew, but no one was detained.

Local media reported the suspicious material was a note
written in a foreign language.

Earlier on Thursday, British police said they had foiled a
plot to bomb flights to the United States. In response
Washington raised the country's security alert on passenger
planes to its highest level for the first time, invoking a red
or "severe" threat level for commercial flights from Britain.