August 16, 2006

Flight from London to Washington diverted

BOSTON (Reuters) - A Washington-bound United Airlines
flight from London was diverted to Boston on Wednesday after a
confrontation with an unruly woman passenger, and the plane's
luggage was being searched, transport officials said.

"There was a supposed confrontation on board. There may
have been a banned item on board and they are now searching the
luggage," said Phil Orlandella, a spokesman at Boston's Logan
International Airport.

"There was an altercation with at least one female
passenger," a United Airlines spokeswoman said.

There was "no reason to believe it is related to
terrorism," said a U.S. official who declined to be identified.

Air passengers have been subjected to heightened security
since British authorities said last Thursday they had foiled a
plot to blow up planes from London to the United States.
British police made two dozen arrests.

There was no immediate comment on media reports the woman
had Vaseline, a screwdriver, matches and a note on the Islamic
militant group al Qaeda. Passengers on flights from Britain
have been barred from carrying gels and liquids.

U.S. Transportation and Security Administration spokeswoman
Amy Von Walter said the flight -- United 923 from London
Heathrow -- was escorted by fighter jets and landed without
incident in Boston.

The plane, carrying 182 passengers and 12 crew, had been
headed to Dulles airport outside Washington. The captain
declared a security emergency.