Air France jet lands in Brazil after bomb threat

All 405 passengers and 18 crew members were safely evacuated from the jet.

Rio de Janeiro: An Air France passenger jet headed from Rio to Paris made an emergency landing in northeastern Brazil on Saturday night due to a bomb threat.

All 405 passengers and 18 crew members were safely evacuated from Air France Flight 443, said Jorge Andrade, a spokesman for airport authority Infraero.

A spokesman for Air France in Brazil said the bomb threat was phoned in to Rio`s international airport by a female voice about 30 minutes after the plane took off.

The control tower contacted the jet and the decision was made to land in Recife, the Air France spokesman. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to discuss the matter.

The spokesman said authorities had not found any explosives after a five-hour search, and the jet was expected to be cleared to continue to Paris.

Solange Argenta, an Infraero spokeswoman at the Recife airport, said the flight took off at 4:20 pm (3:20 pm EDT; 1920 GMT) and that the plane landed in Recife at 7:53 pm (6:53 pm EDT; 2253 GMT).

Infraero said in a statement that after landing in Recife, the jet taxied to a secluded area of the airport and those on board were quickly removed. The airport was closed for about 30 minutes, and then reopened.

Flight 443 was on the same route as an Air France jet that crashed last June off Brazil`s northeastern coast, killing all 228 on board. While no definite cause has been determined in the crash, authorities have repeatedly ruled out foul play.

Bureau Report

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