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EasyJet plane divertsover ‘suspiciousconversation’

By | On June 11, 2017 (1 month ago)


A London-bound easyJet flight was diverted to

Cologne on Saturday evening due to a “suspicious

conversation” heard on board, with passengers

evacuated on emergency slides and three men

arrested, German police said.

The pilot of flight EZY3246, which had taken off

from Slovenia’s capital, Ljubljana, made a

diversion to Cologne’s Bonn airport after

passengers reported that the men were talking

about “terrorist matters”, a police statement said.

The men were not identified.

“Investigations continue regarding the suspicion of

preparations for a serious violent crime that could

have jeopardised the state,” the statement said.

A backpack that belonged to the men was

examined and destroyed in a controlled explosion

by authorities but no dangerous contents were

found, a police spokesman said on Sunday.

Police carried out security checks of the aircraft

and questioned the Stansted-bound passengers

after all 151 on board were evacuated safely from

the Airbus 319 aircraft using emergency slides,

the airport said in a statement on its website.

A spokesman at the airport told Al Jazeera that

the passengers had been checked in at hotels

overnight close to the terminal.

Airspace disruption

Six aircraft were diverted to other airports as a

result of the police investigation, the airport said.

It said air traffic was affected for several hours as

a result of the incident.

No additional passengers were detained, the

spokesman said.

Bild newspaper quoted a spokesman for the

German federal police as saying the pilot decided

to land the aircraft in Cologne after passengers

told airline personnel they had heard the men

using words including “bomb” and “explosive”.

The newspaper also reported that according to

unnamed sources, the three suspects are British

and work in London. They are not known to police

and were on a business trip, the sources told Bild.

Several European countries are currently on high

alert following a number of deadly attacks.

Amid this atmosphere, several airlines in the

United States and Europe have recently removed

innocent passengers of Middle Eastern or Asian

descent from planes on unfounded allegations by

fellow passengers, leading to claims of racial

discrimination.

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