Cell phone in bathroom grounds Delta flight in terror scare; Virgin flight deploys slides in London

A Virgin Atlantic Airbus A330 is seen after making an emergency landing at Gatwick Airport near London on April 16, 2012.
AP/Lorna Willson/PA Wire

(CBS/AP) - A Delta Air Lines flight bound for the United States made an emergency landing Monday in Dublin because a passenger left a cell phone plugged into a socket in one of the aircraft's restrooms, police and aviation authorities said.

Dublin Airport officials later cleared the Boeing 767-300 traveling from Istanbul, Turkey, to continue its journey to New York's John F. Kennedy Airport after determining that the suspected bomb was just an unattended mobile phone and charger.

Irish Aviation Authority spokeswoman Lilian Cassin said the pilot requested an emergency landing, the aircraft landed without incident and was diverted to an isolated corner of the runway.

Ireland's national police force, the Garda Siochana, said officers boarded the plane, spoke to the pilot about the nature of the suspected bomb, and asked any passenger missing their phone to come forward.

It was determined that the passenger had decided to charge the phone using the restroom's socket for shavers and left it there, wrapped up in its charging cord, and another passenger using the restroom reported it might be a bomb.

Police said nobody was hurt or arrested because of Monday's security alert, and the Dublin Airport Authority said no other flights were affected.

Delta spokesman Anthony Black said the aircraft had 208 passengers and 11 crew members. He said the aircraft was refueled to continue its journey later Monday.

In a separate incident Monday, a Virgin Atlantic Airways plane flying from Britain to Florida returned to Gatwick Airport near London for an emergency landing, forcing over 300 people to evacuate the plane using slides.

Four passengers suffered injuries, the company said.

Officials said there were reports of a small fire on the plane, an Airbus A330-300, and it flew back to Gatwick about two hours into the flight.

"Due to a technical problem, the captain decided as a precautionary measure to immediately evacuate the aircraft," Virgin Atlantic said in a statement, adding that Flight VS27 from Gatwick to Orlando, Florida, carried 299 passengers and 13 crew.

The airline declined to provide further details on the four injuries or what exactly caused the emergency. But disputing the fire officials, a spokeswoman for Virgin Atlantic told The Associated Press the flight crew had been debriefed and said they did not see or smell smoke on board.

The airline said it was working closely with authorities to establish the cause of the incident and that Virgin Atlantic CEO Steve Ridgway went to the airport.

A spokeswoman for Gatwick said the airport was closed for more than 90 minutes as passengers on the stricken plane used emergency slides to get to safety.