A Pakistan passenger plane was intercepted by UK fighter jets following a bomb threat. Royal Air Force Typhoon jets escorted the Pakistan International Airlines plane to Stansted Airport this morning.
The plane was originally heading to Manchester, England, from Lahore, Pakistan. Officials state that one of the passengers made a bomb threat. As reported by NBC News, officials believe “the threat was passed in anger.”
The Boeing 777 passenger plane was intercepted by fighter jets without incident. The 308 passengers and crew members were unharmed.
As reported by Channel 4 News, the plane was escorted to Stansted airport as it offers an isolation area. As part of the UK anti-terrorism effort, the isolation area allows for inspection of planes outside the range of passenger terminals.
The plane was evacuated and is currently being inspected for any evidence of tampering or explosive materials.
Authorities report that two male passengers have been arrested for “suspicion of endangerment of aircraft.”
The same plane, flying the same route, was diverted to Stansted Airport on September 7, 2011 following a bomb threat.
In an unrelated incident, a British Airways plane was forced to land at London’s Heathrow airport this morning. As reported by The Independent, the passenger plane was forced to make an emergency landing due to a fire.
The passengers and crew were safely evacuated and no injuries were reported. Runways were closed for several hours while the fire was extinguished. Flights have now resumed, but authorities are reporting delays.
Officials with British Airways do not suspect terrorism. They are in the process of investigating the cause, but suspect a “bird strike” led to a fire in the right engine.
As reported by Bloomberg.com, Britain is currently under “high alert” following the death of a soldier in London.
Lee Rigby of the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers was stabbed by two men just outside of the army barracks. The two men were arrested and are awaiting trial.
Thankfully, the passenger plane was intercepted by the fighter jets without incident, and nobody was harmed in the British Airways fire. The incidents were certainly disturbing and unusual for the passengers, crew, and those watching from the ground.
[Image via Wikimedia]