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Air France flight from Washington to Paris diverted to Halifax

Bomb threats forced a pair of Air France flights headed from the United States to Paris to be diverted, with one jet making an emergency landing in Halifax.

Air France Flight 55 from Washington to France was diverted to Halifax Stanfield International Airport, an official from Air France told Global News.

Air France Flight 65 took off from Los Angeles but but made an emergency landing at the Salt Lake City Airport in Utah. The passengers got off the plane and were bused to a terminal.

A spokesman for Halifax Stanfield International Airport said there were 262 people onboard the plane, which landed without incident at 10:15 p.m. AT, and that the airport was now operational.

In a statement, Air France said the flights “were subject to anonymous threats received by after [sic] their respective take-offs. As a precautionary measure and to conduct all necessary security checks, Air France, applying the safety regulations in force, decided to request the landings of both aircraft.”
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Genevieve Lapeyre, a physician and a safety manager at a Swiss pharmaceutical firm, said she was returning to Paris to visit with friends due to last Friday’s terrorist attacks.

She said she’s worried that there will be an increased number of threats to aircraft amidst the heightened security worries in Europe.

But she said the airlines have to make choices based on safety.

“I think it was the best option for the crew, they couldn’t continue if there was any risk of having a bomb,” she said after disembarking.

Frank Mather, 59, who was travelling back from visiting a friend in Washington to his home in Scotland, said passengers remained calm after receiving word of the diversion.

“I think, given what happened in France over the last couple of days, security will be more strict than usual,” he said.

“If there’s a threat that something may happen to the plane, I think I’d rather come to Halifax for the night than risk my plane exploding over the Atlantic.”

WATCH BELOW: Raw video: Air France plane makes emergency landing in Salt Lake City due to a bomb threat.

RCMP have since completed a search of the plane and no explosive device was found.

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“We received a complaint of a bomb threat and we responded to it,” RCMP Constable Mark Skinner said.

The FBI was taking over the investigation of the Salt Lake City plane, which was diverted because of a threat received by phone after takeoff, Salt Lake airport spokeswoman Bianca Shreeve said.

With files from the Associated Press