EgyptAir Bomb Hoax: ‘Bomb on Flight 955’ Threat Forces 135 Passengers & Crew To Evacuate Aircraft

EgyptAir airlines received a bomb threat from an anonymous caller. The threat caused Flight MS955 to force an emergency landing with 135 passengers and crew aboard. EgyptAir was meant to take off from Cairo to Beijing and made a scary landing in Uzbekistan Wednesday following the bomb threat.

The Independent reports Egyptian officials have confirmed flights have resumed to Beijing. This is sadly the latest in deadly or damaging flights involving Egypt. Mr Mussallam, an Egypt official stated to BBC:

“The aircraft was evacuated, searched and the result of the search was negative, we were told by the Uzbek authorities, who gave us the authorization to take off again.”

Egyptian officials reported an anonymous caller telephoned security agents at the Cairo airport saying a bomb was on Flight MS955. All 135 passengers and the crew on board evacuated the aircraft. Security agents contacted the aircraft, ordering it to land in the nearest airport. Officials say they were not authorized to speak to the media due to the emergency conditions, reports CBSNews.

“We must take any warning seriously.”

Below, an Instagram photo of a man who boarded EgyptAir using hashtags of #Cairo #Beijing #Asia several hours ago.

Officials have reported no bomb was found after Airbus A-330-220 and its passengers were searched. Explosive experts searched the plane thoroughly, and the plane took off for the Chinese capital four hours after it landed, according to Wall Street Journal. EgyptAir landed in the town of Urgency, which is 840 kilometers (600 miles) west of the Uzbek capital, Tashkent.

Only three weeks ago, EgyptAir flight 804 crashed into the Mediterranean sea as it approached the Egyptian coast. This flight was en route from Cairo to Paris. International Business Times reports the search zone for EgyptAir Flight 804 has been narrowed from 3.1 miles to 1.4 miles after signals from the jet’s black boxes were picked up from a French ship.

egyptair bomb threat hoax landing MS955 in uzbekistan

The main goal of investigators is to find the bodies of all victims and black boxes contain crucial recordings that could explain the circumstances of what lead to the tragic end of this EgyptAir flight. There were 66 people killed yet, the cause of May 19 EgyptAir crash still remains unknown, according to Bloomberg.

A Russia airliner crashed into Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula shortly after taking off last October. The aircraft took off from the Egyptian resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh, crashed, and killed 224 people on board, CBS News reports. An affiliate of the extremist Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) claimed responsibility of the aircraft tragedy just hours after the crash occurred. One month later, in November, Russia said an explosive had device brought the aircraft down. The Russian airliner crashes have greatly cut down on Egypt’s tourism industry.

Since the disaster, security has been tightened at Egypt’s 20-plus airports. Passengers are now subjected to the same security measures as they would major international airports.

Uzbekistan As A Travel Destination

EgyptAir had to make an emergency landing in Urgench after the bomb hoax. The Telegraph gives a few reasons Uzbekistan is so tourist friendly. The main draws are low-cost domestic flights, beautiful roads and high-speed trains. The city is filled with shared taxis and bus services. Tashkent has good metro with ornate St. Petersburg-style stations.

Uzbekistan is the world’s fourth most authoritarian country. Over the leader’s 25-year reign, Islam leader Karimov was accused of corruption, election rigging and nepotism according to The Telegraph.

It’s not uncommon for airlines to suffer a ton of false alarms following major disasters. Xinhua, the official Chinese news agency, also said the bomb threat was a hoax.

[Photo by Thomas Ranner/ AP Photo]