An Air France flight from Mauritius to Paris made an emergency landing at an airport in Mombasa, Kenya following a bomb scare on Sunday, December 20.

A suspicious device was found in one of the airplane's toilets raising fears that it could be a bomb. The Boeing 777 (Flight 463) carrying 459 passengers and 14 crew members immediately diverted to Moi International Airport in Mombasa. 

One of the passengers on the flight, Benoit Lucchini, described the landing, "The plane just went down slowly, slowly, slowly, so we just realized probably something was wrong".

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Most passengers initially thought they were landing due to technical issues. Steven Ciaran, a 30-year-old Irishman, was seated at the back of the plane when he noticed rushed movement by cabin crew. The crew explained to him that it was a technical problem. Ciaran felt no need to doubt the explanation. "I thought the plane had difficulty and not that it had anything to do with terrorism," he said.

After examining the device authorities confirmed that the package consisting of cupboard, paper and a timer was a hoax.

Frederic Gagey, head of Air France, said in a statement, "The object did not contain explosives".

This is the fourth bomb hoax that the airline has been a target of. Three other bomb scares have occurred on flights bound from the US to Paris over the last two months. With France being on high alert since the attacks in Paris on November 13, hoaxes like these are damaging to the airline and will lower visitors' confidence in traveling to France. 

"This is behavior that for me is criminal. It sows doubt, it disrupts our operations, it inconveniences passengers, and obviously each time we can get information about those who are responsible for these extremely bad jokes, pardon the expression, we file a legal complaint," Gagey said.

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"We find this behavior stupid, damaging and unacceptable."

The fake bomb is likely to have been planted in the plane's lavatory during the flight. The incident raised concerns over the airline's security checks. Gagey dismissed any concerns with the security checks in Mauritius and explained that because the device contained no explosives it would not have been detected or raised any alarms.

Passengers praised Air France personnel and Kenyan authorities for their calm and efficient handling of the situation.

Six passengers are being questioned including the person who reported the device.