Anti-American Bathroom Bomb Threat Forces United Flight to Land in Ireland
United Flight 971 was diverted to Ireland on Monday afternoon after a bomb threat was found scrawled in the plane's bathroom, according to reports.
The message discovered on the bathroom mirror included an anti-American slogan and mentioned a bomb.
The Boeing 767-300ER, bound for Chicago from Rome with 207 passengers and 11 crew, was forced to turn back about 125 miles west of Ireland, landing at Shannon Airport (SNN) at 1:42pm local. After everyone disembarked at 2:15pm, police searched the plane, which was kept on the tarmac at distance from the terminal and other aircraft, according to a Garda spokesman.
"The passengers have disembarked and the plane and passengers are in the process of being searched," a statement from the Irish police organization said.
Police were reported to have collected handwriting samples from the passengers on board.
United put the passengers up for the night at local hotels, and is expected to fly them to Chicago at 3:00pm Tuesday on a replacement flight.
"United flight UA971, en route to Chicago from Rome, diverted to Shannon following a potential security concern," a United Airlines statement read. "Additional security screenings will be performed on all customers and baggage, and we will work to get customers on their way to Chicago as quickly as possible."