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United Flight to Chicago Diverted After Security Concern

11 June 2018

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.

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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.

United Flight to Chicago Diverted After Security Concern