Flight diverted to Shannon Airport over ‘security concerns’ to resume journey

Alan Owens

Reporter:

Alan Owens

Passengers disembarking from the United Airlines flight at Shannon Airport on Monday - and below Pictures: Press 22

Passengers disembarking from the United Airlines flight at Shannon Airport on Monday - and below Pictures: Press 22

A TRANSATLANTIC flight that diverted to Shannon Airport due to a ‘potential security concern’, understood to be a handwritten message claiming a bomb was on board, is expected to resume its journey later this Tuesday.

The flight – United Airlines UA-971 from Rome to Chicago – made an emergency landing at Shannon on Monday after the crew declared a Mayday, apparently following the discovery of a message written on a surface in one of the plane’s toilets, according to reports.

The Boeing 767-300 dumped its fuel and landed at Shannon at around 1.40pm, an airport spokesperson confirmed, where emergency procedures involving the local fire service, ambulance and gardai, had been put in place.

Members of the armed Garda Regional Support Unit also attended the scene, it is understood.

There were 214 passengers and crew on board and gardai took handwriting samples from each of the passengers, according to multiple reports. The plane was cleared 40 minutes after landing.

A spokesperson for United said this Tuesday: “UA971 was eventually cancelled yesterday and we worked to provide our customers with refreshments and overnight accommodation.

“The aircraft is currently scheduled to depart Shannon today (12th June) at 3pm (local time).”

The airline had said on Monday: “United flight UA971 en route to Chicago from Rome, diverted to Shannon following a potential security concern. Additional security screenings will be performed on all customers and baggage, and we will work to get customers on their way to Chicago as quickly as possible.”