Plane U-turns after mobile phone found aboard

PARIS Wed Jan 4, 2012 5:02am EST

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PARIS Jan 4 (Reuters) - Air France sent a Paris-bound plane back to the U.S. city of Houston on Tuesday after the discovery of a mobile phone that was seemingly mislaid by someone who had taken an earlier flight on the same aircraft.

Flight AF639 was obliged to make the U-turn 30 minutes after takeoff for security reasons, given that no owner of the device was identified, said an Air France spokesman.

"At no time was the security of the passengers at risk," said the spokesman, who had no further details about the phone and said U.S. security staff were now dealing with the matter.

The U-turn and subsequent checks by U.S. security officials meant that the flight with more than 200 passengers aboard was set to arrive some six hours later than scheduled on Wednesday at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport, the spokesman said. (Reporting By Brian Love; Edited by Richard Meares)

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