An Air France flight from Mauritius to Paris was forced to make an emergency landing in Kenya early Sunday after a suspicious device was found in a lavatory. A passenger noticed something in a lavatory which looked like “a stop watch mounted on a box.”
The passenger reported to the cabin crew who informed the pilots leading to an emergency landing at the Moi International Airport in Mombasa.
Bomb experts are inspecting the device to see if it was an explosive, Kenya’s Interior Minister Joseph Nkaissery said at a press conference at the Mombasa airport.
The plane was carrying 459 passengers and 14 crew members on board and had left Mauritius at 9 p.m. said Kenyan police spokesman Charles Owino.
“The object, believed to be an explosive device has successfully been retrieved from the aircraft,” said Kenya Airports Authority in a post on Twitter, adding that scheduled flights to Mombasa were disrupted during the interval but that normal operations have resumed.
France's Foreign Ministry mobilized 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 device was made of cardboard, paper and a household timer, said Frederic Gagey, the head of Air France. “This object did not contain explosives,” said Gagey at a news conference in Paris.