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Bomb Threats Ground Two Flights En Route to Paris

Two Air France flights were diverted from arrival in Paris after bomb threats were phoned in after departure.

Over 700 Air France flyers were temporarily grounded Tuesday night after bomb threats were called in against two aircraft en route to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG). In a statement, the airline confirmed Air France Flight 55 from Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) and Air France Flight 65 from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) were both diverted in an abundance of caution.

“[The flights] were subjects of anonymous threats after their respective take-offs,” the statement posted on Twitter read. “As a precautionary measure and to conduct all necessary security checks, Air France, applying the safety regulations in force, decided to request the landings of both aircraft.”

AF65 was operated on an Airbus A380 aircraft carrying 473 passengers and was diverted to Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC). AF55 was operated on a Boeing 777 carrying 234 passengers and diverted to Halifax Stanfield International Airport (YHZ).

Aboard the aircraft, flyers report they were not given much information about their situation. One flyer aboard AF65 told CNN that the captain announced the diversion due to “unsafe flying conditions,” while another described being escorted off the bus and to a holding area.

“There were huge buses when we landed that they loaded us all on,” Trevor Morgan, who was a passenger aboard the Airbus A380, told CNN. “Everyone on the flight is waiting in this lobby. Nobody knows what’s going on.”

Once on the ground, officials from the FBI responded to AF65, while the Royal Canadian Mounted Police responded to AF55. Both flights were searched, but no explosives were found aboard the aircraft. AF65 was allowed to continue to Paris, while AF55 was grounded. CBC News reports the remaining flyers will be transported to CDG Wednesday night on a special flight.

The New York Times reports the bomb threats were called in to an Air France reservations call center. Authorities are investigating the source of the calls and have not ruled out two separate callers.

[Photo: Ravell Call/Deseret News, via Associated Press]

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