United Airlines flight turns back to Ireland over 'security concern'

Passengers later disembarked from the aircraft and were taken to the terminal

The aircraft, which was en route from Rome to Chicago with 214 passengers and crew on board, diverted to Shannon after concerns were raised when a note alleging there was a bomb on board was found in the toilet.

The flight was originally scheduled to land at O'Hare International Airport at 5:35 p.m.

Passengers were eventually permitted to leave the plane and were taken to a terminal where their luggage underwent security screening.

In a statement to Business Insider, United Airlines said Flight 971 made a decision to land in Ireland following a "potential security concern".

It's understood that the note was related to an apparent bomb threat.

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


United said in a statement that the landing was due to "a potential security concern" but declined to comment further.

"We will work to get customers on their way to Chicago as quickly as possible", United said in a statement.

The airline said on Twitter that the flight was now cancelled and would depart for Chicago on Tuesday.

They also confirmed that the plane and all the passengers are now being searched.

The Irish Times also reports that authorities are taking handwriting samples from passengers if an effort to see if there is a match.

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