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American Airlines flight diverted after man allegedly smokes onboard

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Lit match diverts plane
  • NEW: Flight continues to Los Angeles without detained passenger
  • Officials say passenger tried to smoke during flight
  • FBI takes male passenger into custody
  • Air Travel

(CNN) -- An American Airlines flight headed to California was diverted to New Mexico and a passenger detained for allegedly smoking onboard, officials said.

The FBI took the male passenger into custody, said Daniel Jiron, a spokesman for the Albuquerque International Airport.

"Apparently, he had some matches on him that were struck," Jiron said.

The flight from New York was on its way to Los Angeles. It was diverted to Albuquerque on Wednesday afternoon.

"TSA was notified of a passenger allegedly smoking onboard American Airlines Flight 117 from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)," the Transportation Security Administration said in a statement.

There was no bomb or bomb threat on the flight, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

Canines swept the plane Wednesday evening out of an "abundance of caution," the transportation agency said.

The plane's 168 passengers exited after landing, said Billy Sanez, a spokesman for the airline. The plane later continued onto Los Angeles without the detained passenger late Wednesday.