ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – There was apparently never a threat to security on board a New York-to-Phoenix U.S. Airways flight that made an emergency landing at Lambert-St. Louis Airport early Tuesday morning.
Three men were detained and questioned after displaying so-called “suspicious behavior” on board U.S. Airways Flight 457.
Airport police said they determined that a language barrier played a role in the misunderstanding, along with a backgammon game in an “ornate wooden box” that may have contributed to suspicion of their actions.
Here’s a report on the incident from Lambert-St. Louis Airport spokesperson Jeff Lea:
“On Tuesday, September 13, St. Louis Airport Police began an investigation following the diversion of US Airways flight 457 which landed at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport at 7:50 a.m. CDT. The flight originated from New York-JFK and was bound for Phoenix when it was diverted because of a reported security concern.
All passengers were taken off the plane and taken to the US Airways gates in the A Concourse as Airport Police began their investigation, which included a security sweep of the aircraft.
The plane was diverted because of reports of suspicious behavior of three male passengers on the flight. One of the men was not in his assigned seat prior to takeoff. Immediately after takeoff, one of the men began walking up the aisle. When he was instructed to return to his seat, he sat in another unassigned seat.
The investigation, with the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Transportation Security Administration, has determined that the incident is not related to terrorism. At approximately 10 a.m. CDT, the aircraft was cleared and US Airways was allowed to re-board passengers and continue with the scheduled flight. The three passengers will be released upon completion of the investigation.”
OUR EARLIER STORY:
For the second time in three days, security concerns impact passengers at Lambert-St. Louis Airport.
Actually, US Airways flight 457 was on its way from New York-JFK to Phoenix when it was diverted to Lambert just before 8 am local time due to what are being called “security concerns”.
All passengers disembarked and are waiting for instructions from the airline while crews conduct a safety check on board the diverted plane.
KMOX News and www.kmox.com will have further details about the incident as they become available.
On Sunday, an unusual incident led to two men being kicked off a United Airlines flight bound for Washington-Dulles from Lambert because they were acting suspiciously and couldn’t prove they were air marshals, as they claimed.
It was later determined the men were indeed federal air marshals and there were no security issues after all.
The plane made its flight to Washington without incident.
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