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Authorities pin man to ground at LaGuardia airport after fellow passenger mistakes vintage camera for bomb

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Image source: Twitter video screenshot

Authorities detained a man with a vintage camera after a fellow passenger reported the item as "suspicious," a spokesperson for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey tells the New York Daily News.

What are the details?

The incident took place on Saturday afternoon at theLaGuardia Airport after American Airlines flight 4817 from Indianapolis, Indiana, made an emergency landing when a passenger reported a suspicious item on the plane.

An unnamed female passenger who was traveling with her husband and children spotted a man across the aisle who she believed to be browsing through bomb-making instructions on the internet. The female passenger believed her suspicions were confirmed when the unnamed male passenger pulled out what she believed to be an explosive device and began fiddling with it.

It turned out that the male passenger was browsing the web for information on vintage cameras — and the "bomb" turned out to be an antique camera of his own.

Frightened passengers

Airline chatter was captured on LiveATC.net, according to a report from the New York Times, in which one of the pilots can be heard saying, "We have a situation where a person, a suspicious person, has an item that looks like an explosive device."

"We're planning to turn off the runway, and then we will plan to evacuate," the pilot adds.

The pilot later says that flight crew aren't sure what the person has, but notes that "everyone else is scared on this aircraft."

Pilots made the emergency landing at the Queens airport, where authorities took the male passenger into custody, where they searched and questioned him over the woman's accusations.

Video footage of the incident showed emergency responders surrounding the male passenger as he was detained on the tarmac.

Authorities also confiscated and searched the male traveler's bags.

Inside, police found vintage cameras and a skateboard.

'It was crazy'

Fawad Khuja, a passenger on the plane, told the Times that pandemonium broke out during the flight.

"People were panicking and getting shoved to the ground," he recalled. "The slide opened and I jumped out. People were sliding and rolling down to the floor. It was crazy."

The male passenger was not charged in the incident.

Thomas Topousis, a spokesperson for the Port Authority Police Department, told the outlet that the department "determined there was no criminality" after it was determined that the male passenger "did not make a verbal threat" and was not carrying any suspicious items with him.

"The JTTF [Joint Terrorism Task Force], the FBI and the Port Authority Police Department determined that there was no criminality on the part of the passenger and he was released," Topousis .

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