'Suspicious' Passenger Arrested After Paris-to-Charlotte Flight Diverted to Maine
TSA says there were reports of a passenger acting suspicious.
May 22, 2012 — -- A US Airways flight from Paris continued its journey to Charlotte, N.C., today after it was diverted to Bangor, Maine, because of "suspicious behavior" by a female passenger.
Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, told ABC News today that the passenger, a 40-year-old unidentified woman born in Cameroon and traveling alone for a 10-day trip to the U.S., had passed a note to the flight crew saying that she had a surgically implanted device in her.
King said that when doctors examined the woman, they found no signs of recent scars. He said she had no checked baggage.
Another congressional official who spoke on the condition of anonymity said the note had been written in French and did not mention a bomb.
The Transportation Security Administration said the passenger was being interviewed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers.
Alexa Moore, a 20-year-old student at Campbellsville University in Kentucky, told ABC News today that she was on her way back from a mission in Africa and had been seated about five rows in front of the woman.
"I was sleeping in and out, but we did see her keep going to the bathroom," Moore said. "She was holding, like, her stomach and apparently she had like a note that said she had an explosive planted inside of her."
Moore said the flight crew had asked several times over the intercom whether a doctor was onboard. She said the pilot then said the plane would have to land in Maine because it was low on fuel.
Andrew Christie of US Airways confirmed to ABC News that Flight 787, which took off from Paris' Charles de Gaulle Airport with 179 passengers and nine crew members onboard, had been diverted around noon to Bangor International Airport because of a "security issue."
According to the TSA, the flight was redirected "out of an abundance of caution."
John Cornello, the spokesman for the North American Aerospace Defense Command, told ABC News that it had launched two f-15s from Barnes Air National Guard Base in Massachusetts to intercept the US Airways aircraft.
A Bangor airport official said the passengers were fine and would continue their flight to Charlotte on the same plane.
Moore told ABC News that once the plane had landed shortly after noon, passengers were surprised to see the police board and remove the woman.
"We didn't know what was going on," she said. "I thought she probably had like some drugs on the plane but it was just like crazy. I was pretty shocked."
Moore said after police and the passenger left, the pilot apologized over the intercom for misleading the passengers about the fuel shortage. She said everyone was shocked.
"They didn't scream or anything, 'cause I think she was already off the plane, but they, you know, jaws dropped," she said.
ABC News' Lisa Stark contributed to this story.