A Germanwings aircraft with 132 people on board was asked to abort take off after authorities received a bomb threat. According to Yahoo! News, the Germanwings Flight 4U 826 was about to take off from the Cologne-Bonn Airport in Germany and was bound to fly to Milan in Italy. It was taxiing onto the runway and was awaiting clearance for take-off when the captain received an emergency message from the local ATC, asking them to abort the take-off maneuver.
After the take-off was aborted, the plane was evacuated and was thoroughly searched for traces of explosives. The aircraft was an Airbus A320, and all passengers on board the flight were evacuated in an orderly fashion, Germanwings authorities confirmed. In a statement issued by the airline, they revealed that they decided to abort the flight after a bomb threat was received. According to an Al-Jazeera report, the threat was received in the form of an e-mail just 15 minutes before the plane was scheduled to take-off. At this stage, authorities are still looking for clues regarding the sender of the bomb threat.
Meanwhile, following the evacuation of the aircraft, Federal police used advanced equipment and sniffer dogs to look for explosives on the aircraft — but found nothing. All the affected passengers were told that they would be rebooked on another flight that would leave on Sunday night. The affected plane, too, has been cleared for operations, a spokesperson for Germanwings confirmed. There have been no other official statements, either from the authorities at the Cologne-Bonn airport or from the police authorities regarding this incident.
This latest bomb threat against a Germanwings aircraft comes just weeks after the another aircraft from the company was involved in a horrific air crash. The March 24 Germanwings crash had left hundreds dead. Officials from Germanwings were also under scrutiny after it was revealed that the crash that took the lives of all on board that flight was most likely a case of pilot suicide. Increasing evidence of the co-pilot of the ill-fated Germanwings pilot having psychological issues have been published. The pilot was also under treatment for depression — a fact that he had hidden from Germanwings. It is now thought that the co-pilot deliberately crashed the plane into a mountain after the captain was locked out of the cockpit.
Germanwings happens to be a budget unit of Germany’s flagship airline — Lufthansa.
[Photo by Sascha Steinbach/Getty Images]