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Plane Diverted to Boston After Passenger Tried to Ignite Explosives in His Shoes

Aired December 22, 2001 - 19:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: We have an update on some breaking news out of Boston's Logan Airport. An American Airlines flight from Paris to Miami makes a forced emergency landing at Boston's Logan Airport today. Authorities diverted the plane when they learned that a passenger may have been concealing explosives hidden inside his shoes.

Now, this is what we know: A flight attendant smelled burning sulfur and confronted a passenger who was trying to set his shoes on fire. The flight attendants and some passengers tackled the man after he claimed he was wired. Two F-15 fighter jets were scrambled and escorted the jet to Boston's Logan Airport.

Authorities say the man was carrying a British passport, which may or may not be a false one. The suspect is now in custody, and those shoes are being examined. Authorities at Logan Airport say they are not taking anything for granted right now. The passengers from that plane were shuttled away from the aircraft, and that plane is also being searched.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TOM KINTON, AVIATION DIRECTOR, LOGAN AIRPORT: The aircraft is still here, is isolated, it will be gone over with a fine-tooth comb, interior search, as well as all of the luggage and all of the passengers are being detained at this point in time for further questioning as well.

We're told by the bomb teams on board that this -- this obviously was -- if it indeed is an improvised explosive, that there is certainly enough there to do sufficient damage to an aircraft in flight, certainly.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LIN: Another incidental note here is that one of the flight attendants pictured as you're about to see there -- there you go, in the red -- was bitten by the passenger during the whole melee. Emergency service personnel are apparently trying to bandage that left hand there. Bit of a struggle on that plane.

I'm Carol Lin in Atlanta.

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