To a flight attendant aboard PSA Flight 592 from Sacramento, the strange-looking, battery-powered device in the passenger section looked suspiciously like a bomb. But when the jetliner landed shortly after 2 p.m. at John Wayne Airport on Tuesday, all sheriff's deputies found was an electric toothbrush.
The appliance had been mistaken for a bomb because its plastic casing was missing, leaving wires and batteries exposed, authorities said.
Although passengers had been led off the plane quickly after it landed, the sheriff's bomb squad was not called, according to a Sheriff's Department spokesman.
Authorities said they did not know if someone had planted the device to scare people or if it was accidentally dropped, leaving a passenger with a hollow plastic shell.