False alarm diverts Lufthansa flight

December 27, 2009 12:00 am

, BERLIN, Dec 27 – A false alarm over a suspicious suitcase forced the landing in Iceland of a German airliner bound for Detroit, national flag carrier Lufthansa said Sunday.

A spokesman for the airline told AFP that the Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt on Saturday with 160 people on board was carrying luggage from a passenger who was not on the plane.

As a precaution, the pilots landed the Airbus A330 in Iceland, where the baggage was removed. The flight then continued on to Detroit with a delay of about two hours.

The spokesman declined to comment on media reports that security experts feared there were explosives on board, but noted that all luggage in Frankfurt is X-rayed before being loaded onto planes.

"At no time was there a threat to security," he said.

It was not immediately clear how the luggage turned up on the plane without its owner.

The incident came as a 23-year-old Nigerian was charged in the United States with trying to blow up a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam as it was preparing to land in Detroit on Christmas Day.

Airports worldwide, including Germany\’s largest in Frankfurt, have since stepped up security.


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