SHANNON, Ireland - After the crew of a United Airlines flight spotted a bomb threat scrawled in one of the plane’s toilets, the flight from Rome to Chicago was diverted to Ireland.
The bomb threat was discovered by the crew of the United Airlines flight UA-971, roughly four hours after the flight departed from Rome.
The flight, which was scheduled to land at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport at around 2 p.m. CST was forced to divert to Ireland’s Shannon Airport, where it landed at 1.42 pm.
After the flight landed at Shannon, fire brigade units and police met the Boeing 767.
About 40 minutes later, all the 207 passengers and 11 crew members disembarked the plane and were being searched by the police.
In a statement, Sergeant Jim Molloy of the Garda (Irish Police) Press Office said that passengers are being investigated and officers collected writing samples from all those on board.
Further, luggage in the cabin and hold were also being analysed.
Meanwhile, in a statement, a United Airlines spokesman confirmed that the flight from Rome to Chicago was diverted to Ireland "following a potential security concern."
The spokesman added, "After assessing the situation our crew made the decision to divert to the nearest available airport. Additional security screenings will be performed on all customers and baggage, and we will work to get customers on their way to Chicago as quickly as possible.”