London-Washington flight diverted after disruption

A Washington-bound United Airlines flight from London made an emergency landing in Boston on Wednesday after a confrontation with a woman suffering from claustrophobia, but there was no apparent terrorist threat, police and security officials said.

Flight 923, carrying 182 passengers and 12 crew, was escorted by fighter jets to Boston where it landed without incident, said United States Transportation Security Administration spokesperson Amy Von Walter said. Police said they arrested one person but declined to say who it was.

“There was an altercation with at least one female passenger,” a United Airlines spokesperson said. A federal law enforcement official said the woman had an anxiety attack.

“There are no known links to terrorism regarding this event at this time,” said Christopher White, a Transportation Security Administration spokesperson.

Nenette Day, a spokesperson with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Boston, said the 60-year-old woman was apparently claustrophobic and became disruptive on the flight.

“This isn’t just an ‘I want another drink kind of thing,’ it was a disruption that caused them to divert the plane,” Day said.

Air passengers have been subjected to heightened security since British authorities said last Thursday they had foiled a plot to blow up planes from London to the United States.
British police made two dozen arrests.

“There was a supposed confrontation on board. There may have been a banned item on board and they are now searching the luggage,” said Phil Orlandella, a spokesperson at Boston’s Logan International airport.

Live television broadcasts showed airport rescue workers surrounding the plane while dogs sniffed for explosives in luggage laid out in lines on the ground. At least half a dozen police vans were on the tarmac.—Reuters

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