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United flight diverted after passenger badly soils bathroom with human waste

United Airlines planes are seen on the tarmac at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in this file photo.
United Airlines planes are seen on the tarmac at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in this file photo. David J. Phillip/AP

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A United Airlines flight from Chicago to Hong Kong was diverted to Alaska after a passenger was accused of soiling two lavatories and trying to flush his shirt down a toilet, officials said Friday.

The man spread human waste in the lavatories Thursday before Flight 895 was diverted to Anchorage, airport police Lt. Joe Gamache said.

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There were no indications the incident was related to terrorism, according to FBI spokeswoman Staci Feger-Pellessier. No injuries were reported.

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The man did not try to interfere with the flight crew and was not expected to be arrested, Gamache said. He was taken to a hospital for a mental health assessment.

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“After the interviews were done, there were no appropriate charges for anything criminal,” Gamache said.

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The passenger, whose name was not released, was shirtless when authorities met the flight in Alaska, Gamache said.

Authorities needed an interpreter to interview the man, who was carrying a Vietnamese passport and had a U.S. permanent resident card.

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Much of what the man said was unintelligible or did not make sense, even to the translator, Gamache said.

Authorities handcuffed the man for his safety as well as their own, Gamache said.

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Federal prosecutors have not determined whether to pursue charges.

United Airlines spokesman Charlie Hobart said 245 passengers were on the flight that was set to depart Anchorage on Friday.