American Airlines flight from Miami to NYC diverts to Jacksonville after pepper spray incident

An American Airlines flight traveling from Miami to New York City was diverted to Jacksonville, Florida, after someone inadvertently sprayed a bottle of pepper spray in the cabin, the Federal Aviation Administration confirmed to USA TODAY.

The FAA said the incident happened Sunday night on American Airlines Flight 1680. The aircraft was cleaned after the incident and continued to LaGuardia Airport in New York City without further incident.

The FAA said it will investigate the incident.

According to the Transportation Security Administration, one 4 fluid ounce container of mace or pepper spray is permitted in checked baggage if it is equipped with a safety mechanism to prevent accidental discharge, but they are not allowed in carry-on bags.

Additionally, self-defense sprays containing more than 2% by mass of tear gas are prohibited in checked baggage.

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The incident comes weeks after passengers on an American Airlines flight from Charlotte, North Carolina to Gainesville, Florida, had to don their oxygen masks as a pressurization issue forced the plane to make a quick but controlled descent.

One passenger on the flight posted on social media that the experience was “scary” and that the pictures didn’t do the full scene justice.

In a later social media post, the passenger added that the crew was “exceptional” and “cool under pressure.”

In a statement to USA TODAY, an American Airlines spokesperson confirmed the incident and said there were no injuries reported as a result.

Contributing: Zach Wichter, USA TODAY

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