Philharmonic spokeswoman Yekaterina Grebentsova said she doubted the incident was extreme as reports she has seen.
"All these talks seem to present some exaggerated rumors taking place on the background of a noticeably negative attitude toward Russia lately," she said. "Just look at the Olympics."
Airline officials said Monday's problems on United Flight 947 began after some orchestra members broke out bottles of liquor they had carried on board with them.
Known for years as the Leningrad Philharmonic, the St. Petersburg group traces its roots to 1882. It last toured the United States in 1998.
— The Associated Press
Man Charged With Trying to Bring Gun on Flight
M I A M I, Feb. 20 — An Iranian man carried a gun aboard a flight to Miami from the Caribbean island of St. Martin and was arrested at the Miami airport when he tried to board a connecting flight, police and the FBI said today. Iradj Eftekharipour, 37, was arrested Monday evening on a charge of attempting to carry a firearm on a commercial aircraft, Miami-Dade County Police said. He was trying to board an American Airlines flight from Miami to Reagan National Airport in Washington, FBI spokeswoman Judy Orihuela said. "He was going through a screener and they saw something unusual in his fanny pack," Orihuela said. Police said the black metal revolver was loaded with "six projectiles," which Orihuela described as rubber bullets. The man told police that he carried the gun "for his own protection," Orihuela said. Security at U.S. airports has been stepped up following the Sept 11. attacks on the United States in which four planes were hijacked. Investigators were still trying to find out how Eftekharipour had boarded the flight to Miami with the gun, said Orihuela. Eftekharipour is an Iranian national but may have been living in Illinois, she said. He was arrested by local police but was expected to be transferred to federal custody today to face federal charges of carrying a weapon aboard a commercial flight.
Sept. 11 Victims’ Loved Ones Sue to Bankrupt Terrorists
W A S H I N G T O N, Feb. 20 — Seven women who lost men they love in the World Trade Center see their long-shot legal effort to bankrupt terrorists and their supporters as a crucial step in reassembling their shattered lives.