A Chicago-bound United Airlines flight from Rome was diverted to Ireland because of a "potential security concern", the airline said Monday. It's understood that 214 passengers and crew were on board at the time.
The crew declared a May Day at around 12.45pm and informed air traffic controllers that they wished to divert to Shannon Airport.
The Boeing 767-300 jet was about 200 kilometres west of County Clare when the plane was redirected back. Additional units of the fire service from Ennis were also mobilised to a holding point adjacent to the M18 motorway. It landed at 2.15pm following a discovery of a suspicious message.
Passengers on board United Flight 971 have disembarked from the plane and both checked and hand luggage is being re-screened.
Midair BOMB THREAT horror - United Airlines diversion as WARNING NOTE found in toilet
In a statement, Chicago-based United Airlines said: "United flight UA971 en route to Chicago from Rome, diverted to Shannon following a potential security concern".
According to Independent.ie, there was a message written on a surface in the aircraft's lavatory suggesting the presence of an explosive.
There are reports in Irish media that it was found in a toilet and handwriting samples have been gathered from passengers.
The airline said on Twitter that the flight was now canceled and would depart for Chicago on Tuesday.
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