A Turkish Airlines flight traveling from Istanbul, Turkey, to Frankfurt, Germany, was diverted to Nuremberg, Germany, after an unattended “suspicious” mobile device was found on board. According to Express UK, the plane carrying 124 passengers landed safely after pilots hit the panic alarm following the discovery of a derelict mobile phone.
“Turkish newspaper Antalya Ajans reported that the airliner suffered a bomb scare at 30,000ft after ‘an unclaimed cell phone’ was found on board shortly after it entered German airspace. It is not clear in what circumstances the device was found and specialist security teams began combing the aircraft shortly after it landed,” reports Express UK.
Turkish Airlines flight TK1617 was met on the runway by several emergency vehicles. Despite the frightening ordeal, however, everyone on board made it off the aircraft safely. An investigation into where the cell phone came from or who it might have belonged to is said to be ongoing at this time.
Authorities have yet to say whether or not the device posed any kind of actual threat.
— AirLive.net (@airlivenet) November 30, 2015
This is not the first piece of news involving Turkish travel to be reported today. Just hours ago, Turkish Airlines announced that they would be canceling all flights between Istanbul and Egyptian city Sharm el-Sheikh until January 1 due to safety concerns. According to the Middle Eastern Monitor, the airline’s decision came just two weeks after the Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a travel warning to Sharm el-Sheikh.
“Citizens should consider risks in the region when planning their visit to Sharm el-Sheikh,” said the ministry in a statement.
This travel warning was issued after a Russian passenger plane crashed in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula on October 31. It is widely believed that a bomb took out that plane and killed all 224 passengers on board.
According to CNN, Moscow believes that Turkey took down the plane on purpose in connection with ISIS. The motive: oil trade protection.
Secondly, the Turkish Airlines flight with the onboard emergency landed just hours after an explosion near a metro station in Istanbul. According to CNBC, the mayor has confirmed that the explosion was caused by a pipe bomb. As of now, reports indicate that five people have been injured in that incident. There has been at least one report of a fatality, but that has not been confirmed.
“Atilla Aydiner, the mayor of the Bayrampasa district on the European side of the city, spoke on live television after the explosion hit the industrial and residential area near the height of evening rush hour. An Istanbul police source told NBC News that evidence of a small hand-made bomb had been found outside the entrance of the metro station,” reports CNBC.
— Israel News Flash (@ILNewsFlash) December 1, 2015
Turkish Airlines flight TK1617 wasn’t the first aircraft in the country’s fleet to be diverted due to security concerns. Just over a week ago, another flight headed to New York City from Istanbul was diverted to Canada because of a bomb threat. According to CNN, all 256 passengers and crew members were safe after the flight landed safely at Halifax Stanfield International Airport in Nova Scotia.
“Authorities said they were investigating the ‘origin of the threat,’ which was received at 10:50 p.m. local time (9:50 p.m. ET), and were looking to identify who was behind it. They didn’t say exactly how the threat was made. Bomb-sniffing dogs were used to comb through the plane and passengers’ luggage in Halifax. No explosive device was found, police said,” according to CNN.
[Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images News]