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Box cutter found aboard airliner in Philadelphia

US Airways jet evacuated; FBI investigating


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(CNN) -- A box cutter was found Tuesday aboard US Airways flight 177 as it prepared to leave Philadelphia International Airport for Phoenix, Arizona, a spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration told CNN.

TSA spokeswoman Ann Davis in Boston, Massachusetts, said the blade was found by a passenger in the seat pocket in front of him a few minutes before the flight was due to leave for Phoenix. He notified the flight crew, and all passengers on the plane were moved off the aircraft and re-screened. They have been re-booked on a flight later Tuesday night, Davis told CNN in a phone interview.

The flight had come from Houston, Texas, Davis said, and had passed through Charlotte, North Carolina. It originated in Richmond, Virginia, on Tuesday morning.

The FBI is investigating the incident, spokeswoman Linda Vizi said in Philadelphia.

"Our evidence team is there, processing the plane to see if anything else is on board," Vizi told CNN in a phone interview.

No arrests have been made, she said.

Davis said she did not believe the incident was linked to that of a North Carolina college student who was charged October 20 with carrying a concealed weapon aboard an aircraft.

According to an FBI affidavit, Nathaniel Heatwole, 20, admitted planting box cutters, bleach, matches and modeling clay resembling plastic explosives aboard Southwest jets in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Baltimore, Maryland, in mid-September. The items were discovered October 16 aboard aircraft in Houston and New Orleans, Louisiana, prosecutors said.

The affidavit states that Heatwole sent e-mail messages to the Transportation Security Administration to alert authorities to the items, calling his actions "an act of civil disobedience with the aim of improving public safety for the air-traveling public."

CNN producer Beth Lewandowski in Washington contributed to this report


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