Kenyan authorities are questioning several passengers after an Air France flight from Mauritius to Paris was forced to make an emergency landing in Kenya early yesterday after a suspicious device was found in a restroom.
Authorities have removed the device from the plane and are working to determine whether it contains explosives.
Air France Flight 463, a Boeing 777, departed from Mauritius late Saturday night with 473 people aboard, headed for Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, Kenyan police chief Joseph Boinnet said.
It requested permission to land at Moi International Airport in the coastal Kenyan city of Mombasa after a passenger discovered the device in the restroom, he said.
“The plane landed there safely at 12:37 a.m. local time,” Boinnet said in a statement. “All passengers were evacuated without incident.”
Kenyan investigators were working in liaison with France and Mauritius, Kenya’s Interior Ministry tweeted.
France’s Foreign Ministry mobilised a crisis and support center and diplomatic staff in Nairobi to work with Air France and Kenyan officials to arrange for the accommodation of the passengers until they could continue on to Paris, a deputy spokesman for the ministry said in a statement.
The Kenyan Interior Ministry tweeted that the passengers and 14 crew members had all been safely relocated to hotels.
It tweeted pictures of the passengers eating lunch at a hotel and being briefed by Kenyan officials in a meeting room.