Plane Diverted to Philly International - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Plane Diverted to Philly International

Teen praying on plane accidentally seen as a danger



    Plane Diverted to Philly International
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    A Jewish teenager who was praying on a plane and wearing a religious object made one of the flight crew members so nervous the plane was diverted to land immediately at Philadelphia International Airport Thursday morning.

    The airport went into Emergency Response mode for what turned out to be a big cultural misunderstanding.

    The 17-year-old was wearing a Tefillin -- a Jewish religious object that has two boxes attached to leather straps.

    One of the flight crew was alarmed. Police said she had no idea what it was and even though the teen tried to explain he was just saying his morning prayers, the pilots decided to take no chances.

    The plane was flying from LaGuardia to Kentucky and the crew radioed in to the tower at Philadelphia International explaining the circumstances and asking to land.

    All of the passengers -- except for the teen -- were evacuated.

    The bomb squad, anti-terrorism squad, FBI and TSA all swarmed in.

    They searched the plane and found nothing out of the ordinary. And when they interviewed the teenager, they figured out quickly that there was no threat at all.

    The teen was with his younger sister, who was so distraught she was crying. Their parents were coming down to Philly to drive them home.

    The rest of the passengers went on to Kentucky.