Tel Aviv flight declares emergency, turns back

Delta flight 469 had a successful emergency landing at Ben Gurion airport. (@IsraelHatzolah)

Delta flight 469 had a successful emergency landing at Ben Gurion airport. (@IsraelHatzolah)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:16 PM ET

There were some tense moments Saturday night as a 747 heading from Tel Aviv to New York declared an emergency shortly after takeoff and had to turn back.

Delta 469, carrying 362 passengers, left Ben Gurion Airport just after midnight. It initially climbed in altitude, but then repeatedly circled the airspace, as many as nine times, according to the route map on the Plane Finder app, which tracks flights in real time.

The Twitter account @IsraelHatzolah posted photos showing dozens of emergency vehicles and personnel awaiting the flight's return.

Many people online expressed concern the incident could be related to the ongoing military offensive between Israel and Gaza, which has been escalating all week.

Delta Airlines said on Twitter the problem appeared to be a "maintenance issue."

About an hour and a half after it had departed, Delta announced, via tweet, that the flight had landed safely back in Tel Aviv and was expected to fly out again at 5 a.m.


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