Plane from Los Angeles to London diverted

Thursday, July 12, 2007

FAA diagram for John F. Kennedy International Airport.

An American Airlines plane, Flight 136 carrying 230 passengers was traveling from Los Angeles, California to London, England when it was diverted to John F. Kennedy International Airport due to a suspicious passenger.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) states that "the flight crew alerted security to a suspicious person on board" and the plane was then diverted to JFK Airport while it was still en route to London. The plane made an emergency landing at 4:00 a.m. (eastern time).

The man was traveling alone, and was taken into custody after the plane landed safely. Reports also say that the unnamed individual was riding an employee bus, then boarded the plane, but does not have proper identification which says he works for the airline.

"It may very well turn out that this is nothing more than a misunderstanding with an employee who used an employee bus to get on a plane for a private flight," said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.

The man boarded the plane without proceeding through security screenings, but Chertoff states that the Middle Eastern man had purchased a round trip ticket for the flight.

"The individual in question was, in fact, an employee who was traveling in a private capacity," added Chertoff.

Andrea McCauley, a spokeswoman for the TSA says the flight has been canceled, and all passengers were being checked, along with the plane, but authorities did not find anything suspicious.

Passengers were told that the plane had run out of fuel and are being reassigned to different flights.