LONDON – A passenger flight from Portugal to Britain carrying 108 people was diverted under an air force jet escort Tuesday after a suspicious object was found on board, British police said. Officials later said the object was an unclaimed cell phone.
A Ministry of Defense spokeswoman said two air force fighter jets escorted the Thomson holiday company (search) flight to Britain's Stansted airport (search), 20 miles northeast of London, where it landed safely at 7:41 p.m.
The flight, with 103 passengers and five crew on board, was en route from the holiday resort of Faro in southern Portugal to Coventry, in England's midlands region, when defense officials sent fighter jets to escort it to Stansted.
"A report had been received from air crew that a suspicious object had been found in the cabin by a passenger, the decision was made to divert the aircraft to Stansted as a precautionary measure," Kim Perks of Essex Police (search) said.
A spokeswoman for Thomson said the phone did not belong to any of the passengers or crew onboard the plane.
"The pilot was informed and put emergency procedures into action as a precaution," the spokeswoman said. She did not say why a cell phone would be considered suspicious.
Perks said the plane landed safely and passengers and crew had disembarked. The airport remained open.