Man arrested for airplane bomb hoax
LONDON (AP) – Police arrested a man aboard a Qatar Airways plane on suspicion of making a hoax bomb threat today, following a warning to the pilot of a possible device on the aircraft.
A Royal Air Force fighter jet escorted Qatar Airways Flight 23, carrying 269 passengers and 13 crew on a flight from Doha, Qatar, to a safe landing at Manchester Airport, the flight’s original destination.
Greater Manchester Police had been dealing with the incident as a full emergency, and the runway was briefly closed. After landing, the plane was moved to a designated area to allow specialist officers to board, and the suspect was swiftly removed.
The Ministry of Defence said the fighter was launched in their quick reaction alert role to investigate “a civilian aircraft whose pilot had requested assistance”.
“The aircraft was escorted to Manchester where it landed safely,” the ministry said in a statement. “This incident is now being handled by the civilian authorities.”
Qatar Airways said in a statement that the crew on the Airbus A330-300 received a “threat about a possible device on board” and immediately alerted British authorities. It did not clarify the nature of the threat or say how it was communicated.
Crew members were assisting police with the investigation, the carrier said. The carrier said that it could not comment further because the matter is part of a police investigation.