Family in "Muslim-type" clothing ejected from TN flight

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Comments about seeing people on a plane who appear to be Muslim got National Public Radio analyst Juan Williams fired last week. Some cannot help but think their appearance had something to do with a family's removal from a plane Tuesday morning in Memphis.

"My understanding is they were dressed in attire that would indicate some Muslim-type religion," said Memphis International Airport Vice President Scott Brockman.

The Delta flight in question was operated by Comair and made a stop in Memphis on a journey from Dallas to Toronto. "On taxi, the crew became concerned when a passenger exited the lavatory after an extended period of time and damage was found in the lavatory," said a Comair spokesperson in a written statement.

That damage was to a toilet which was found slightly askew after the man of the family used it.

"The family was asked to leave the aircraft, which they did peacefully," said Brockman. "At that point, the aircraft was inspected and cleared," he added.

A bomb-sniffing dog and other measures resulted in a two-hour delay. The family was placed on a later flight following an interview with the FBI.

"I mean, even if they were in jeans, they look different," said traveler Prabha Singh.  "It's gonna happen."

Singh is Hindu and said she often feels suspicion herself. "If you do the same thing it won't happen as much as if I would do it," said Singh.  "So, I watch what I do these days," she added.

For now, the airline stands behind the flight crew's decision and cites safety as their primary concern.

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