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8:15am — Flight Diverted to ABQ After Man Lights Matches On Board

FBI questioned passenger who caused American Airlines 767 to interrupt flight.

A man was taken into custody by the FBI in Albuquerque after admitting to lighting some matches in the bathroom of a plane that landed at the Albuquerque International Sunport Wednesday afternoon, KOB-TV reported.

American Airlines Flight 117 was en route to Los Angeles from New York’s JFK Airport when passengers spotted a man walking out of the plane’s bathroom smelling of smoke and sulfur, KOB-TV said.

Aviation police said the man admitted lighting matches in the bathroom, and authorities questioned the man for hours, holding passengers in the terminal for six hours as police, FBI agents and bomb-sniffing dogs searched the 767 aircraft, according to Eyewitness News 4.

Airport spokesman Daniel Jiron said it appeared no explosives were on board, the station reported.

Police said the man, who KOB-TV said was released as of this morning, admitted that he was a smoker, but it was unclear whether he was trying to light a cigarette in the bathroom.

Even if he were just lighting matches, the man, whose name has not been released, could face criminal charges for bringing matches on board an airplane, KOB-TV said.

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