Bomb threat delayed an Air France flight to Paris days before Flight 447 crashed

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Wikinews has learned that Argentine media reported on May 27 that an Air France flight traveling from Ezeiza Airport in Buenos Aires, Argentina to Paris, France, was delayed after the airline reportedly received a bomb threat, just days before Air France Flight 447 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean.

According to momento24, on May 27, authorities boarded Air France Flight 415, a Boeing 777 en route to Paris and searched the plane for a bomb, but found nothing. They were acting on a threat that had been phoned in. The search lasted for nearly two hours and none of the passengers were evacuated from the aircraft. Air France issued a statement saying the threat was later proven to be "false" and that the plane had only taken 32 minutes to search, and was then allowed to proceed to its destination.

"We have no signs so far," that the cause of the crash is related to terrorism, said Herve Morin, France's minister of defense in an address on Europe 1 Radio. He also added that "we can’t rule out a terrorist act since terrorism is the main threat to Western democracies." Argentinian police say that there is no known link between the two events.

Air France Flight 447 was an Airbus A330 en route from Rio de Janerio to Paris on June 1, with 228 people on board, when it vanished from radar screens after entering an area with severe turbulence. The exact cause is still under investigation.

On June 2, wreckage from the plane was spotted in the Atlantic Ocean 650 kilometres from the coast of Brazil. An airplane seat and life vest were found floating in Atlantic waters on Tuesday. A French ship arrived at the area on the same day, and confirmed the debris.

All on board the aircraft are feared to have been killed in the crash. The main goal for search crews will be to find the cockpit voice and data recorder to help find out what caused the crash. French authorities have sent a vessel carrying two mini-submarines to attempt recovery of the flight data recorders, which can broadcast locator signals for up to 30 days. However, the Brazilian defence minister said on Tuesday that it may be hard to find them due to the depth of the ocean in the area, saying that "it could be at a depth of 2,000 or 3,000 metres [6,500 to 9,800 feet] in that area of the ocean."

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