Unclaimed phone prompts security scare on American Airlines flight in Miami
Bomb squad called after flight from Paris arrives at Miami International Airport
MIAMI – The bomb squad was called to Miami International Airport after "suspicious activity" was reported on an American Airlines flight that arrived Tuesday afternoon from Paris, Miami-Dade police Detective Marjorie Eloi said.
American Airlines Flight 63 departed from the Charles de Gaulle Airport and safely arrived in Miami shortly after 3:30 p.m., airline spokeswoman Alexis Aran Coello said in a statement.
She said law enforcement was "investigating what appears to be a suspicious item discovered on board."
The FBI later said the item was a cellphone that no passengers would claim.
"We were wondering what happened in this plane, and the phone was just behind me," passenger Melanie Bouexiaia told Local 10 News.
Airport spokesman Greg Chin said the plane was moved to a remote area of the airfield for the investigation and did not affect other flights.
"We were actually escorted outside of the plane," passenger Mikka Nevasalo said. "There was a big fence, and we went to the other side. We didn't see the plane at all."
The all clear was given by Miami-Dade police at 6:30 p.m. Chin said passengers were re-boarding and would receive normal processing by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
"Out of an abundance of caution, upon landing at MIA, the plane was directed to a designated area for further investigation," FBI Special Agent Michael Leverock said. "After a complete search was conducted by law enforcement of the plane and its passengers, no threat was located."
There were 217 passengers and 14 crew members on the Boeing 777. Chin said all the passengers were kept on airport buses while police investigate.
Leverock said a passenger finally came forward and claimed the phone.
"No charges were filed and there was no nexus to terrorism to the incident," Leverock said.
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