Fighter jet scrambled to escort passenger plane into U.K.’s Manchester Airport
MANCHESTER, England — A fighter jet was scrambled Tuesday to escort a passenger plane into Britain’s Manchester Airport after the pilot received information that a “possible suspicious device” was on board, police said.
The plane landed safely after being escorted by the Royal Air Force jet and the airport said the threat was now over.
Greater Manchester Police said via Twitter that one man on board the plane had been arrested on suspicion of making a hoax bomb threat.
The other passengers are now being allowed off the aircraft, the force said. Manchester Airport’s press office said flights have resumed after being suspended for a 25-minute period.
Qatar Airways confirmed that flight QR23 from Doha to Manchester, an Airbus A330-300, had landed safely with 269 passengers and 13 crew on board.
“The crew onboard had received a threat about a possible device on board and Qatar Airways immediately took all the necessary precautions to alert British authorities,” the airline said.
“The crew is now fully assisting police at the airport with their inquiries.”
Earlier, Chief Superintendent John O’Hare of Greater Manchester Police said police did not know how genuine the threat was but that it was vital police dealt with the situation “as a full emergency.”
He urged people not to be alarmed by the presence of police and other agencies at the airport and on the airfield.
“Our response will be as comprehensive as it is proportionate, with the safety of those on board and in and around the airport our paramount concern,” he said.
A passenger on the plane, Josh Hartley, posted a video to Instagram showing a fighter jet flying alongside the aircraft, filmed through the plane window.
Posting on Twitter, he said that emergency services were on the landing strip and that armed police were outside the plane.
Manchester Airport is an international airport serving the north of England and handling more than 20 million passengers a year.