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Plane Returns After Fistfight Between Passengers

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Government and airline officials say a United Airlines plane with 144 people aboard returned to Washington-Dulles International Airport for an emergency landing escorted by two F-16 fighter jets after a fight broke out between passengers.

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Laura Brown says Flight 990 bound for Accra, Ghana, returned to Dulles in Chantilly, Va., just after midnight Sunday after a fistfight in the cabin.

Government officials confirmed that fighter jets were scrambled from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland.

United spokesman Mike Trevino said Tuesday that the Boeing 767 dumped fuel as a safety precaution to lighten its weight on landing.

The Washington Post, which first reported the incident, reported that the fight began not long after takeoff when a passenger lowered his seat and a passenger behind him objected.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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