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Flash Drive In Lavatory Prompts Emergency Landing For Plane Headed To JFK

American Airlines Emergency Landing

This American Airlines plane was headed for JFK from San Francisco, when it was forced to land in Kansas City due to a bomb scare prompted by a flash drive. (Credit: CBS SF Bay Area)

KANSAS CITY (CBSNewYork/AP) — An American Airlines flight headed for John F. Kennedy International Airport made an emergency landing in Kansas City Sunday, after a flash drive was found in a lavatory and prompted a bomb scare.

American Airlines Flight 24 was headed to JFK from San Francisco International Airport, when it landed around 3 p.m. Eastern Time, CBS Kansas City affiliate KCTV-TV reported.

Crewmembers said they considered the flash drive suspicious, told passengers they were investigating a bomb scare, and ordered everyone off the plane, KCTV reported.

A bus was sent out to the plane to unload the passengers, the station reported. The Boeing 767 had 227 people on board.

Kansas City Aviation Department spokesman Joe McBride said the Boeing 767 was taken to an area away from the terminal and was searched.

New Yorker Javier Arau talked with KCTV. He said the incident brought back some old fears from the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

“To hear the phrase bomb scare, bomb threat, one of my daughters was crying. We calmed her down a bit, but I have to say, I’m pretty stressed out now too. So I’m trying to breathe deeply,” Arau told the station.

McBride said it is “a new day and age since 9/11,″ and that officials take precautions if something is deemed suspicious.

Bomb and arson investigators conducted a search, and passengers got back on the plane around 7 p.m. Eastern Time, KCTV reported.

The incident happened several hours after JFK was closed due to an unrelated incident. Delta Connection Flight 4100 skidded off a runway into a snowbank at the airport Sunday morning, in an incident that caused no injuries but prompted officials to shut down the airport for about two hours.

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