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Air France jet lands in Brazil after bomb threat

July 11th, 2010

Air France

An Air France passenger jet headed from Rio to Paris made an emergency landing in northeastern Brazil due to a bomb threat.

All 405 passengers and 18 crew members were safely evacuated from Air France Flight 443 on Saturday night, said Jorge Andrade, a spokesman for airport authority Infraero.

A spokesman for Air France in Brazil said the bomb threat was phoned in to Rio’s international airport by a female voice about 30 minutes after the plane took off.

The control tower contacted the jet and the decision was made to land in Recife, the Air France spokesman said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter.

In Paris, Air France spokesman Jerome N’Guyen said a full inspection of the plane had been completed and nothing suspicious had been found.

The plane could not take off immediately because of regulations on rest time for flight personnel, but was expected to leave from Recife at 6 p.m. and reach Paris Monday morning, he added.

Solange Argenta, an Infraero spokeswoman at the Recife airport, said the flight originally took off at 4:20 p.m. (3:20 p.m. EDT; 1920 GMT) and that the plane landed in Recife at 7:53 p.m. (6:53 p.m. EDT; 2253 GMT).

Infraero said in a statement that after landing in Recife, the jet taxied to a secluded area of the airport and those on board were quickly removed. The airport was closed for about 30 minutes, and then reopened.

Flight 443 was on the same route as an Air France jet that crashed last June off Brazil’s northeastern coast, killing all 228 on board. While no definite cause has been determined in the crash, authorities have repeatedly ruled out foul play.


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