Jewish ritual diverts plane

A MISUNDERSTANDING about a Jewish prayer ritual led to a US Airways flight, bound for Louisville, Kentucky, being diverted to Philadelphia, authorities said last night.

Police Lieutenant Frank Vanore says a 17-year-old boy was using tefillin, a set of small black boxes attached to leather straps and containing biblical passages. One box is strapped to the arm; the other box is placed on the head.

Vanore says the crew on US Airways Flight 3079 questioned the teenager, who explained the ritual. However, the pilot decided to land in Philadelphia.