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Suspicious Package Was Only Cat Food

A suspicious package that forced an American Airlines jetliner to return to Los Angeles International Airport on Tuesday turned out to be a bag of cat food.

Flight 164 left Los Angeles at 3:24 p.m. bound for Newark, N.J., and was in the air about an hour when the item was found in a row of seats, American spokeswoman Andrea Rader said in Dallas.

None of the 121 passengers identified it as theirs, so the crew returned to Los Angeles as a precaution, landing at 4:22 p.m. and parking in a remote area of the airport.

Police and emergency crews raced across the tarmac to greet the plane, and passengers were evacuated slowly down a stairway. Police then entered the plane, examined the package, and discovered its contents.

The flight was headed back to Newark Tuesday evening after reloading the passengers and refueling the jetliner, Rader said.

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