Air France jet in bomb scare landing

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The Independent US

An Air France passenger jet heading from Rio de Janeiro to Paris made an emergency landing in north-eastern Brazil, following a bomb threat.

All 405 passengers and 18 crew members were safely evacuated from Flight 443, said Jorge Andrade, a spokesman for airport authority Infraero.

A spokesman for Air France in Brazil said the bomb threat was phoned in to Rio's international airport by a female voice about 30 minutes after the plane took off.

The control tower contacted the jet and the decision was made to land in Recife, the Air France spokesman said.

The spokesman said authorities had not found any explosives after a five-hour search, and the jet was expected to be cleared to continue to Paris.

Solange Argenta, an Infraero spokeswoman at Recife airport, said the flight took off at 4.20pm local time yesterday and landed in Recife at 7.53pm.

The jet taxied to a secluded area of the airport and those on board were quickly removed. The airport was closed for about 30 minutes.

Flight 443 was on the same route as an Air France jet that crashed last June off Brazil's north-eastern coast, killing all 228 on board. While no definite cause has been determined in the crash, authorities have repeatedly ruled out foul play.