Air France CEO Says Flight Diverted After 'False Alarm'

PHOTO: A picture taken on December 20, 2015 shows an Air France flight from Mauritius to Paris grounded at the Moi International Airport in Mombasa, after a suspected bomb was found on board.PlayAFP/Getty Images
WATCH Bomb Scare on Passenger Plane Bound for Paris

The CEO of Air France said a suspicious item that led a Paris-bound plane to make an emergency landing in Kenya was a "false alarm."

Frédéric Gagey said the item found in the plane's bathroom appeared to be made of "cardboard, papers and what looks like a kitchen timer." The Air France flight, traveling from Mauritius to Paris, made an emergency landing early Sunday in Mombasa, Kenya after the item was found.

"From the photos provided by the Kenyan authorities, nothing in the object found posed a threat for the plane or passengers," he said.

Bomb experts retrieved the item to examine it, said Kenyan police.

"If this device was found three-and-a-half hours into the flight, it's likely that somebody on board that aircraft placed it in the lavatory," said retired Col. Stephen Ganyard, an ABC News contributor. "This will allow police to thoroughly screen the passenger manifest, question everybody."

According to the Kenya Interior Ministry, the plane was removed from the runway, and the passengers and crew were taken to a hotel.

Kenyan Secretary of the Interior Joseph Nkaissery told reporters several passengers were questioned in connection with the incident.

Benoit Lucchini, who was on the plane, said it was like "something wrong in the toilet, like a -- it could be like a bomb, something like that." He added he didn't see the suspicious device but that other people did.

It was the latest incident for shaken Parisians and for aviation officials still on edge after ISIS fighters claimed credit for detonating a bomb on board a Russian airline over Egypt in October.

"These third-world airports continue to be attractive to terrorists," said Ganyard. "It's much easier to get a bomb or get a device through security at a third-world airport -- at a smaller airport -- than it is, say, a larger [airport] like Paris or in New York."