New Detroit Plane Scare Declared ‘Non-Serious’


northwestA security alert aboard a Northwest Airlines jet ended today after investigators determined the incident — the second in two days involving a Detroit, Michigan-bound flight — was “non-serious,” federal authorities said.

The crew of Northwest Flight 253 reported a “verbally disruptive” passenger today and requested police meet the plane when it arrived from the Netherlands, the airline told CNN. The man was questioned by police after the plane landed in Detroit early this afternoon.

The Amsterdam-to-Detroit flight is the same one targeted Friday in what prosecutors called a failed attempt to blow up a jetliner. Sandra Berchtold, a spokeswoman for the Joint Terrorism Task Force in Detroit, said Sunday’s alert was caused by a passenger who “spent a lengthy time in the restroom.”

“This raised concerns, so an alert was raised,” she said. “JTTF investigated, and the investigation shows that this was a non-serious incident and all is clear at this point.”

The passenger spent about an hour in the bathroom and got upset when he was questioned by the crew of the flight from Amsterdam, Netherlands, according to government sources. Law enforcement agents questioned the man Sunday.

The jet had the same designation — Flight 253 — as the one on which a Nigerian man is accused of attempting to set off an explosive device Friday, said Scott Wintner, a spokesman for the Wayne County Airport Authority. Winter told CNN the flight “requested emergency assistance and was pulled aside upon arrival in Detroit.”

The jet was taken a long distance from the terminal and “completely engulfed” by emergency vehicles and heavily armed police once it landed, said Don Graham, who was waiting for relatives to arrive at the airport.

The flight arrived about 12:34 p.m., said Susan Elliott, a spokeswoman for Delta Air Lines, which owns Northwest. The 257 passengers were allowed to leave the aircraft about an hour after the jet landed, she said.

{CNN Ticker/Noam Newscenter}