By Andrea Romano
October 23, 2019
Andreas Haas/Getty Images

An Air France flight from Paris to Chicago was diverted to Ireland on Sunday after a “suspicious” cell phone was found on board.

Flight AF136 departed on time from Charles de Gaulle Airport on October 20 and was in the air for about two hours before a cell phone was found between two seats, The Irish Times reported. When the cabin crew found that the phone did not belong to anyone on board, the flight was diverted to Shannon Airport.

“The phone was removed from the aircraft and taken to the terminal where it was X-rayed by airport police officers and gardaí­," inspector Paul Slattery said, referring to Irish police. "Once we were satisfied the phone was safe, it was returned to Air France staff.”

Since the phone was wedged between seats, authorities told the Irish news outlet that it was likely left behind by a passenger on an earlier flight and was missed during routine cleaning.

 The flight left the airport for Chicago at 8:26 p.m., local time.

According to the Daily Beast, cell phones have been used in the past as trigger devices for explosives, so flight crews have to take all necessary precautions if they find an unaccompanied phone. 

Other reasons why a flight might be diverted include unruly passengers, smoke, strange smells, malfunctioning electronics with lithium batteries, or other suspicious activities.

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