Page last updated at 21:59 GMT, Sunday, 27 December 2009

Fresh security scare on Northwest flight to Detroit

Northwest Airlines flight 253 sits on the tarmac at Detroit Metropolitan Airport
The plane was taken to a remote part of the airport

There has been a security scare on board a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit - two days after an alleged attack failed on board the same flight.

The pilot of Northwest Airlines Flight 253 requested emergency help when a passenger was described as disruptive as the plane landed on Sunday.

However hours later the FBI said it was a "non-serious incident".

It came a day after a Nigerian man was charged with attempting to destroy a plane on a flight on 25 December.

In Sunday's incident, flight crew became concerned when the passenger- who was also described as a Nigerian - became sick and spent about an hour locked in the toilet, officials said.

"This raised concerns so an alert was raised," FBI spokeswoman Sandra Berchtold.

"The investigation shows that this was a non-serious incident."

The man was taken into custody after the plane landed and no explosives were found on him.

Airport alertness

US President Barack Obama was told about the latest incident during his holiday in Hawaii.

The White House said in a statement: "The president stressed the importance of maintaining heightened security measures for all air travel."

The US and international airports were already on alert after the 25 December failed attack, in which Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab allegedly attempted to detonate an explosive device.

Fellow passengers reported seeing flames coming from Mr Abdulmutallab's lap. He was treated for burns after his arrest.

The FBI said he had explosives on his body. He is due to appear in court on Monday.

Watch-list review

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the president wanted to know how a man carrying dangerous substance PETN had managed to board a flight in Amsterdam.

The US system of watch-lists would also be examined after it emerged that the suspect was listed and known to US officials.

The lists include a watch-list, with some 550,000 names on it, a "selectee" list with 18,000 people within the higher-risk category, and a "no-fly" list with 4,000 names of people who are not permitted to board planes.

Speaking on Sunday talk shows before the latest incident, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said air passengers were safe.

"This was one individual literally of thousands that fly and thousands of flights every year," Ms Napolitano said.

"And he was stopped before any damage could be done. I think the important thing to recognise here is that once this incident occurred, everything happened that should have."

US airlines especially have tightened security after the attempt, increasing screenings and body searches and, in some cases, confining passengers to their seats without pillows or blankets for the last hour of their flight.

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