An Air France plane from Mauritius to Paris was forced to make an emergency landing in Kenya after a suspicious package was found in the restroom.
Four people have been arrested for what was first called a “bombing attempt,” but later downgraded to a “nasty joke.”
A passenger found the device in a cupboard behind the restroom mirror. The cabin crew decided to land the plane immediately and evacuated the 473 passengers in the coastal Kenyan city of Mombasa.
Kenyan security forces released a statement shortly after the landing saying a bomb had been taken to a safe destination for detonation in the morning.
“Bomb experts from the Kenya Navy took the bomb away to safety,” the statement said. “The Kenyan security is zeroing in on two passengers who appear suspicious.”
When bomb experts examined the device further, they found that it was a cardboard box filled with paper and “something like a kitchen timer.”
“It seems like a nasty joke,” Air France CEO Frederic Gagey said at a press conference Sunday. “This is behavior which is in extremely bad taste.”
Joseph Nkaissery, Kenyan cabinet secretary for the Ministry of Interior, told CNN that all four suspect were passengers on the plane but he did not want to disclose their nationalities.
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