UPDATED:Bomb scare forces Air France flight to emergency land in Kenya

Air France boss called the fake bomb alert that grounded the flight a "really aggressive act"

Air France boss Frederic Gagey called the fake bomb alert that grounded the flight an “extremely aggressive act” Photo Credit: EPA/STR

An Air France Paris-bound aircraft was forced to land at Moi International Airport in Mombasa, Kenya Sunday morning following discovery of a suspicious package in the plane’s toilets. The flight originated from the Indian Ocean Island of Mauritius Saturday night.

The Kenyan Police told the media, the Boeing 777 Flight 463 was en route to Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris when the pilot asked to make an emergency in Kenya.

“It requested an emergency landing when a device suspected to be an explosive was discovered in the lavatory,” Police Spokesman Charles Owino. Mr Owino added all 459 passengers and 14 crew members on board had evacuated safely although some were taken to local hospital after sustaining minor injuries.

Frederic Gagey, CEO of Air Afrance said the whole incident was sparked by a fake bomb warning when the paper and timer object was triggered fears of a bomb. He thanked the Kenyan authorities for swinging into action handling the situation safely.

“The plane just went down slowly, slowly, slowly, so we just realised probably something was wrong,” a passenger on the plane Benoit Lucchini was quoted as saying.

Reports from Nairobi indicate 5 passengers on the flight have been arrested by the Kenyan authorities in ongoing probe into the incident.

This is the fourth false bomb alert to ground an Air France plane after November Paris terror attacks, last month two Air France jets originating from Los Angeles and Washing DC, US were diverted to Salt Lake City, Utah, and Nova Scotia, Canada after bomb threats were simultaneously called in.

France is still reeling from last months ISIS attacks that left nearly 140 people dead, more than 350 injured. The emergency landing also comes weeks after a suspected ISIS bomb exploded and downed a Russian Airliner over the Sinai Peninsular, Egypt.

“What we’re looking at right now is a crisis in aviation security. Technology has changed. Bombs are much smaller, and terrorists have become much smarter. Right now we’re taking off our shoes and our belts – is that really enough to ensure bombs are not getting on the aircraft?” Oliver McGee, Aviation Expert told Aljazeera.