Flight turns back to Ireland over ‘security concern’

A 'United Airlines flight to Chicago has been diverted to Shannon airport due to security concerns. Pictured is a United Airlines Belfast to New York flight. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
A 'United Airlines flight to Chicago has been diverted to Shannon airport due to security concerns. Pictured is a United Airlines Belfast to New York flight. Picture By: Arthur Allison.

A United Airlines flight over the Atlantic has turned back and landed in Ireland because of what the airline called a “potential security concern”.

A United spokeswoman said on Monday that passengers and baggage would undergo more security screening before the flight resumes.

The spokeswoman is declining to give additional details about the security issue.

According to tracking services, Flight 971 was flying from Rome to Chicago and had just passed Ireland when it turned back and landed at Shannon Airport.

The flight was diverted to Shannon airport in Ireland, after “a message” was discovered on board, Irish police said.

The message referred to a bomb on the plane, a source with knowledge of the investigation told Reuters.

The 207 passengers and 11 crew members disembarked the Boeing 767-330 at Shannon airport at 2.15pm local time, according to Jim Molloy, a representative of the Republic of Ireland’s police force.

The passengers were in the process of being searched, he said in an emailed statement.