NEW YORK (Reuters) - The discovery of suspicious wires in plastic straws aboard a Madrid-bound Delta Air Lines jetliner on Thursday night forced the plane to return to New York, but authorities said they searched the aircraft and found no bomb.
Delta Flight 126, a Boeing 767-300 with 206 passengers aboard, landed safely at John F. Kennedy airport shortly after 9:30 p.m. EDT on Thursday, about 90 minutes after takeoff, according to the airline.
Delta described the situation as a "security concern" without elaborating. Out of an abundance of caution, the airline said in a statement, the plane turned around and returned to New York.
But police spokesman Paul Browne said two wires inside of small, plastic straws were found in a bathroom, one in the sink and one in the toilet.
It is not clear whether a flight attendant or an air marshal made the discovery. Nor was it clear where the wires came from. They were not part of the smoke detector in the bathroom, Browne said.
Once back in New York, Browne said the aircraft was examined by bomb technicians and no explosives were found.
Two passengers were questioned but neither was held, Browne said. One was a woman from Argentina who reported trouble breathing around the time of the discovery. Also interviewed was a man believed to be the last person to use the bathroom before the wires were found.
He denied any knowledge of the wires.
The investigation is ongoing, police said.
(Reporting by Mark Hosenball, Tim Gaynor, Basil Katz, Paul Thomasch and John Crawley; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan, Peter Cooney and Lisa Shumaker)