Indiana Daily Student

Pa. flight diverted following prayer confusion

Authorities say a misunderstanding about a Jewish prayer ritual led to the diversion of a U.S. Airways flight to Philadelphia.

City police Lt. Frank Vanore says a 17-year-old boy on the plane was using tefillin, a set of small black boxes attached to leather straps and containing biblical passages.
One box is strapped to the arm; the other box is placed on the head.

Vanore says the crew questioned the teen, who explained the ritual. Still, the pilot decided to land in Philadelphia.

The flight had left LaGuardia airport in New York on Thursday morning bound for Louisville, Ky. The plane landed without incident and was met by police, bomb-sniffing dogs and officials from the FBI and Transportation Security Administration.

Vanore says the teen, who was traveling with his 16-year-old sister, has been very cooperative.

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