No Explosives Found on Delta Plane After Emergency JFK Landing

A wire threaded through a drinking straw was discovered on the plane lavatory floor, but authorities determined it was not incendiary

By Jonathan Dienst and Shimon Prokupecz
|  Friday, Jul 13, 2012  |  Updated 7:28 AM EDT
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A Delta plane bound for Madrid returned to Kennedy Airport after a passenger found a cut wire in the lavatory Thursday night, sources familiar with the situation said.

A Delta plane bound for Madrid returned to Kennedy Airport after a passenger found a cut wire in the lavatory Thursday night, sources familiar with the situation said.

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A jetliner bound for Madrid returned to Kennedy Airport as a precaution Thursday evening after a passenger reported strange wiring in the bathroom, but no explosive device was found, law enforcement officials said.

Delta Flight 126 left the gate at about 8 p.m. carrying 206 passengers and returned over an hour later. At one point, the pilot told air traffic controllers four U.S. Marshals were onboard the plane, including two who were armed.

The NYPD bomb squad and FBI met the flight as a swarm of law enforcement vehicles surrounding the aircraft. The plane was evacuated.

The wires were determined to be non-explosive but apparently didn't belong to the plane, said Paul Browne, chief spokesman for the NYPD. Investigators briefly questioned two passengers, a woman who reported having difficulty breathing at the time the wires were discovered, and a man who apparently had been the last to use the bathroom.

Officials were concerned the woman may have been creating some sort of diversion, but that was determined not to be the case. The male passenger denied having anything to do with the wires. Both passengers were released.

The Transportation Security Administration said the plane taxied to a remote location and passengers were escorted off. "The aircraft was searched with negative results," the TSA said in a statement.

Delta spokeswoman Sarah M. Lora said in a statement that the flight was returned to JFK "out of an abundance of caution" and that "the flight landed safely."

Passengers boarded a new flight to Madrid early Friday.

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