On Sunday, an Air France flight traveling from Mauritius to Paris made an emergency landing in Kenya after a fake bomb was found in one of the plane's bathrooms, Associated Press reports.
The fake bomb was reportedly homemade and comprised of paper, cardboard and what resembled a kitchen timer.
This is apparently the fourth bomb hoax Air France dealt with in the past several weeks. The hoax occurred as much of the world, particularly France, remains on high alert in the wake of the terror attacks in Paris, among other incidents.
Air France's CEO, Frédéric Gagey, was understandably perturbed by the recent bomb hoaxes.
He reportedly said,
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... We find this behavior stupid, damaging and unacceptable.
It's difficult to know how to respond to such threats. Completely dismissing the danger terrorism poses would be wrong, but it's also important to avoid inciting widespread panic as that's the primary goal of groups like ISIS.
The crew involved in the emergency landing of this particular flight reportedly handled itself very well in this regard, keeping the passengers calm while addressing the situation.
Benoit Lucchini, a passenger on the flight, reportedly said,
The plane just went down slowly, slowly, slowly, so we just realized probably something was wrong... The personnel of Air France was just great, they were just wonderful. So they keep everybody calm. We did not know what was happening. So we secured the seat belt to land in Mombasa because we thought it was a technical problem, but actually it was not a technical problem. It was something in the toilet.
After a passenger reportedly told the crew about the device in the bathroom, pilots requested an emergency landing in Mombasa, Kenya. All 459 passengers were evacuated from the flight, and six passengers, including the passenger who found the fake bomb, were reportedly being questioned about the incident.
While we can hope there aren't many situations like this in the future, it seems the behavior of the Air France crew might serve as a model for all of us as we respond to terror attacks: remain calm, do what you can to protect those around you, alert the proper authorities, assess the situation and move forward.