LaGuardia Bomb Scare Came From Misidentified Camera

A Southwest aircraft is pushed onto a new taxiway at LaGuardia Airport in New York Thursday, May 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

The security incident at LaGuardia airport over the weekend was the result of passengers being suspicious of a vintage camera, according to the Daily News.

On Saturday around 3 p.m. the American Airlines Flight 4817 from Indianapolis made an emergency landing at LaGuardia and police detained a passenger for several hours before declining to press charges.

Videos showed a man lying on the ground with his arms outstretched and two firefighters kneeling over him, while other passengers wandered around the tarmac.

It emerged that the suspicious passenger was a vintage camera collector, and another passenger mistakenly thought the old-fashioned cameras resembled bombs. The other passenger was travelling with her family when she noticed the other passenger looking at photos of vintage camera equipment, and thought he was looking at bomb making instructions.

When the man set a timer on his phone, she alerted flight attendants she believed the other passenger had a bomb detonator.

The plane was diverted and evacuated. The passenger whose hobby had caused so much trouble was found to be carrying vintage cameras in his luggage and was released after questioning by police and federal agents.

“The JTTF [Joint Terrorism Task Force], the FBI and the Port Authority Police Department determined that there was no criminality on the part of the passenger and he was released,” a Port Authority spokesman said in a statement.