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Flight from Dominican Republic to Paris forced to land because of chili peppers

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An Air France flight from Santo Domingo to Paris made an emergency landing in Ireland on Sunday after an alarm indicated the possibility of fire or smoke in the cargo hold, according to the Irish Independent.

The culprit turned out to be chili peppers – yes, chili peppers – in the forward cargo compartment that appear to have set off the alarm.

The Air France crew contacted the Irish Aviation Authority with a “Mayday” call after the alarm sounded, the Independent reported.

The Boeing 747 had 142 passengers and 12 crew members on board, the newspaper said.

Irish authorities cleared the way for the plane to divert to the airport in Shannon, on western side of the island.

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“The plane was met by fire crews and a fleet of ambulances when it touched down shortly before 10 a.m.,” the newspaper reported.

“Once all passengers had left the plane, fire officers carefully opened the cargo door with extinguishers at the ready,” the Independent said. “The plane's own onboard extinguishers had activated and were still discharging fire suppressant when fire crews boarded.”

They found no fire, but honed in on a shipment of chili peppers in the cargo hold whose heat apparently activated the jet's sensitive fire alarm.

No word on which type of chili pepper was involved in the incident.

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