Unwarranted Alarm Sparks Emergency Landing of Copa Airlines
A Tampa-bound flight was met with an unexpected turn of events on Friday morning, prompting an emergency landing after an apparently suspicious package was discovered within one of the lavatories. However, the subsequent investigation revealed that it was a false alarm, and the item in question turned out to be a harmless adult diaper.
Swift Response to the Security Alert
Copa Airlines flight CM393 had departed from Panama City, en route to Florida, at approximately 9:45 am on Friday. Merely 30 minutes into the journey, the aircraft made an abrupt about-face, returning to Tocumen International Airport due to the discovery of a potential ‘improvised explosive device.
A Thorough Security Evaluation
Upon its return, the Boeing 737, carrying 144 passengers and crew members, was positioned in an isolated section of the airfield. Security teams were promptly dispatched to conduct a comprehensive inspection of the plane.
Cleared of Suspicion: An Adult Diaper in the Spotlight
José Castro, the airport’s head of security, confirmed that the security sweep found no cause for concern on board the aircraft. Instead, the source of the security alert was traced back to an adult diaper found within the lavatory bin.
Copa Airlines Flight Return to the Skies
With the false alarm resolved, the plane was granted clearance to resume its journey to Tampa. The departure occurred around 3 pm local time, resulting in a nearly five-hour delay for the passengers before arriving in Florida.
The initial security alert turned out to be a case of mistaken identity, underscoring the vigilance and precautionary measures taken by airline and security personnel to ensure passenger safety.