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Bomb threats force plane to land

A UK-bound plane was forced to land in Turkey after a Pakistani airline received bomb threats by email.

The plane was en route to Manchester Airport when officials in Islamabad received the terror warning, a Pakistani International Airlines chief said.

All 347 passengers were safe while bomb disposal teams carried out searches on the PK709 jet in Istanbul, he added.

A Manchester Airport spokesman later said the flight had taken off and was en route from Turkey and due to land at the airport at 12.15am with all passengers on board.

A total of 323 economy passengers, 24 first class passengers and 16 crew were ushered off the plane as sniffer dogs carried out searches at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport, Captain Tasneem Mozaffar, head of global operations for the airline, said.

A plane heading for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, has also been forced to land while security officials carry out checks, he said.

"When you have 500 people in the air you have to take the safest option," he said.

"We received information in a written email of a bomb threat on the two flights. We asked the UK-bound flight to turn left and land in Turkey as that was the nearest available place to safely land."

The scare came amid heightened alert for airlines in the build-up to memorials to mark 10 years since the September 11 terror atrocities.


From Belfast Telegraph