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Air France flight diverted after threat

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • NEW: Passenger says crew and passengers "surprisingly calm:
  • Crew was informed of threat while in flight, pilot decided to land so plane could be inspected
  • Passengers expected to continue trip Sunday night, arriving in Paris Monday morning
  • NEW: No indications from airline that inspection found anything

(CNN) -- The threat of an explosive device on board prompted the diversion of an Air France flight to Recife, Brazil, while it was en route from Rio de Janiero to Paris, France, the airline said in a statement.

The crew was informed of the threat while in flight, the statement said, and the captain decided to land in Recife so the aircraft could be inspected, Air France said. The plane landed about 8 p.m. Saturday and all 405 people on board disembarked. They were being housed in several hotels, the statement said.

Passenger Osman Tosun was traveling with his wife and two children. Tosun said the plane landed about three and a half hours into the flight without explanation to the passengers.

"We did a U-turn to land," he said, adding that it took about 30 minutes to land.

He said the crew and passengers were "surprisingly calm."

"I didn't think of a bomb threat ...maybe mechanically impaired," he said. "All sorts of things rush through your mind, but you're also pretty helpless."

There was no indication from the airline that the inspection found anything related to the threat, and the plane and its passengers were scheduled to continue on to Paris.

The plane is expected to leave Recife at 8:10 p.m. (7:10 p.m. ET) Sunday and expected to arrive at Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport at 9:50 a.m. (3:50 a.m. ET) Monday, the airline said.

Recife is about 1,100 miles (1,790 km) north-northeast of Rio de Janiero.