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  • Rochester NY Homeland Security issue

    Rochester, N.Y.) – A plane that took off from the Rochester International Airport was ordered to return shortly after take-off, because a bag belonging to a suspicious couple was on board.

    An airport official said a couple trying to board Air Canada Flight 7405 to Toronto had false passports and paid for their tickets in cash. One bag belonging to the couple was on the plane when it took off at about 11 a.m. Once it was determined the bag was on board, the plane returned to Rochester.

    The small commuter plane has been surrounded by fire trucks and security personnel for much of the morning. The eleven people on board were escorted off the plane.

    The couple is from Sri Lanka and they were suspected of having false Canadian passports, according to a Department of Homeland Security official. While in custody, the woman complained of having chest pains and wanted something out of her bag. The man also made a remark about a suicide bomb.

    “There was a significant language barrier with the passengers, and the male is believed to have made a confusing remark about a possible bomb,” said Jarren Agen of the Department of Homeland Security. "So out of an abundance of caution the plane was rerouted and returned to Rochester airport.”

    The couple is in custody. Charges could be filed, pending the outcome of the investigation.

    The Department of Homeland Security is handling the investigation. U.S. Customs and Border Security, the FBI, and Monroe County Sheriff's Department are also involved in the investigation.

    Other flights were not affected.

  • #2
    With all of those red flags, how did the plane take off in the first place????

    Maybe TSA should stand for Too Slow Always
    Tom

    Never Forget 9-11-2001

    Stay safe out there!

    IACOJ Member

    Comment


    • #3
      update

      Two Released From Diverted Flight
      by R News staff
      photo by Andrew Heinze
      Published Jul 19, 2006
      U.S. Customs agents released two Sri Lankan nationals from custody after ordering the plane they were traveling on to turn around and land at the Rochester airport Wednesday morning.

      Federal authorities ordered the Air Canada commuter flight from Rochester to Toronto diverted to Rochester just after 11 a.m.

      Investigators say customs agents had raised questions about the passports of two of the plane's passengers before takeoff. The two passengers, from Sri Lanka, were taken into custody. They were suspected of having false Canadian passports.

      Shortly after the plane left, it was discovered that a bag belonging to one of those detainees was still on board.

      When one of the detainees made what investigators considered a questionable remark about the bag, authorities ordered the plane to return to Rochester.

      Once back at the airport, Monroe County Sheriff's deputies provided perimeter security as customs and border agents investigated the incident. A sheriff's office robot removed the bag in question from the airplane. Investigators say it was found to be harmless.

      The other nine passengers on board the commuter flight were removed from the plane.

      An apparent language barrier caused miscommunication during the investigation according to Monroe County Sheriff Patrick O'Flynn. Once an interpreter was brought in to assist, the incident was resolved. The detainees said they were seeking political asylum to escape the civil war in their country.

      The investigation did not disrupt regular traffic at the Rochester airport.

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