FBI, police investigating suspicious airport incident

The FBI and Philadelphia Police were canvassing the area near the Philadelphia International Airport looking for an object that was launched skyward as a US Airways plane came in for landing Tuesday afternoon, authorities said.

Victoria Lupica, an airport spokeswoman, said the flight crew on US Airways flight 4321 from Elmira, N.Y. reported seeing an object and a smoke trail near their plane as it was landing.

She emphasized that the object — which is presumed to be a flare — did not actually hit the plane. Investigators said the flight crew saw the object when they were about 500 feet above the runway.    

“There was absolutely no damage to the plane,” Lupica said, adding that the plane landed safely. “We didn’t close the airport, we were operational the entire time,” she said.

However, runway 17 was shut down for about a half hour while police and the FBI investigated the incident. The runway reopened around 2:45 p.m., Lupica said.

The flight crew that reported seeing the object departed from the airport on another plane and had not been interviewed by officials as of 4:30 p.m.

Investigators said that the object had not been recovered as of 4:30 p.m. and there were no reported injuries.