Passenger adjusting their camera mistaken for bomb scare which caused emergency landing in Queens.
A ‘bomb scare’ that caused an emergency landing at New York City‘s LaGuardia Airport was triggered by a woman who mistook a passenger’s antique camera for an explosive device.
American Airlines Flight 4817, from Indianapolis to LaGuardia, in Queens, was forced to make an emergency landing and evacuation via the plane’s emergency slides, at 3pm on Saturday.
The ‘security incident’ began after a mother, who was traveling with her husband and children, noticed another passenger who was watching videos and viewing pictures of vintage cameras, sources told New York Daily News.
She began to fear the man was searching for bomb-making instructions.
When he pulled out a vintage camera of his own, she was convinced the item was a bomb and alerted airline staff.
A ‘bomb scare’ that caused an emergency landing at New York City’s LaGuardia Airport was triggered by a woman who mistook a passenger’s antique camera for an explosive device
Video taken by fellow passengers (pictured) showed firefighters as they secured the camera-loving man facedown on the runway, while travelers were evacuated from the plane
Pictured left: The woman and her kids were seated across from her spouse when she noticed another passenger next to her husband watching videos and pictures of vintage cameras
The airplane’s pilot radioed to traffic control that they needed to clear the runway to make way for an emergency landing due to a suspicious and erratic behavior from a passenger.
The planed landed away from the airport building and passengers were evacuated using the inflatable slides.
When on the ground, the supposed bomber was forced to lay face down on the tarmac and was searched.
The traveler’s bags were also confiscated and searched.
They were found to have a skateboard and other vintage cameras.
Video taken by fellow passengers showed firefighters surrounding the suspect as confused travelers mulled about the tarmac.
A ‘bomb scare’ that caused an emergency landing (pictured) at LaGuardia Airport was actually just a passenger adjusting their camera, leading to him being taken into custody for hours
All 78 passengers, alongside four crew members, were successfully evacuated from the plan, the News reports officials saying.
There were no injuries during the mishap.
‘Evacuation, worst experience ever! wrote one passenger who posted about the incident on Instagram.
‘We are (okay) … just waiting because everyone has to get checked through TSA (Transportation Security Administration)’ she added.
After several hours, and law enforcement officials discovering only vintage cameras and a skateboard in his bags, he was finally cleared by officials and released.
The man’s identity was not released by authorities.
‘The JTTF [Joint Terrorism Task Force], the FBI and the Port Authority Police Department determined that there was no criminality on the part of the passenger and he was released,’ said Port Authority spokesman Tom Topousis.
The incident was initially treated as an ‘security incident,’ after the woman reported what she believed to be erratic behavior in the form of a camera adjustments, according to the Federal Aviation Administration and Port Authority Police.