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Plane makes emergency landing over tea bottle

With airport security tensions rising, Lufthansa plane flying to Israel forced to stop in Athens due to suspicious bottle found under seat

Published: 11.02.10

Airport security tensions have been on the rise for the past week since learning of an international 'mail conspiracy' to send bombs packages in airplane cargo heading from Yemen to the United States, but in this case it was nothing more than a tempest in a tea-bottle.

A Lufthansa airplane making its way from Frankfurt to Israel on Tuesday was forced to make an emergency landing around 3:00 am, after discovering a bottle containing suspicious fluid under one of the passenger seats.

After the airplane staff inquired whether the bottle belonged to any one of the passengers and did not find the owner, the captain decided not to take any chances and landed the airplane in an airport near Greece. Security officials later reported that it was no more than a bottle filled with ice-tea.

One of the possibilities raised by officials was that a passenger from a previous flight left the bottle on the place, going unnoticed by the cleaning crew.

Israeli security officials were briefed on the event as the plane continued on its way to its final destination, landing in Ben-Gurion Airport early Tuesday morning.

Lufthansa airlines said that at no point were the passengers, the crew or the plane in any danger. They apologized to the passengers for the delay and mentioned that "the company will continue to take every precaution to ensure the safety and security of its passengers."

Ever since the 2006 attempted terrorist attack on a British airplane, when the terrorists planned on flying from London to the US with liquid explosives, flight regulations became stricter, restricting passengers from traveling with fluidly bottles. This restriction is not binding in Israel, South America, Asia or Africa.

The European Union intended on canceling this restriction last year, but the discovery of explosives hidden in a Nigerian terrorist's underpants flying from Amsterdam to the US last Christmas caused the EU to leave the restriction untouched.

Click to view image: '786bea27950a-3151888877.jpg'

Added: Nov-3-2010 
By: aydeo
Tags: Lufthansa, emergency landing, tea bottle, 'mail conspiracy', Yemen
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