UPDATE: Bomb disposal team arrives at diverted Pakistan jet ‘after men tried to storm cockpit’

A PIA jet was dkverted after a 'terror threat'
A PIA jet was dkverted after a ‘terror threat’

A bomb disposal team has just pulled up alongside a Pakistan Airways jet diverted to London’s Stansted airport today after reports that a threat had been made to destroy the airliner.

Earlier, British fighter jets escorted the passenger plane to Stansted  where police went on board and arrested two men on suspicion of endangering an aircraft.

Passengers told Sky News in the UK that two men sitting at the back of the plane had repeatedly tried to gain access to the cockpit, but were prevented from doing so by crew. The men made threats to destroy the plane, the witnesses added.

The plane took off from the Pakistani city of Lahore. Pakistan is an ally of the US in the war on terror, but is also the source of virulent Islamic fundamentalism. The America government and its allies have alleged that Pakistan’s intelligence service, the ISS, has elements that support Taliban activities in remote parts of Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan.

Passengers left the plane and no one was hurt in the incident, a spokesman for the airport said.

Flight PK709 from Lahore in Pakistan had been due to land at Manchester in northern England with 297 passengers on board, but was diverted shortly before arrival.

Britain is on high alert after a soldier was hacked to death on a London street on Wednesday in what the government are treating as a terrorist incident.

A security source said early indications were that the plane was not the target of a terrorist attack.

A passenger who had just got off the plane told the BBC the pilot had informed passengers after landing that he had diverted to Stansted because of threats. The passenger, named by the BBC as Mr Munsif, said two men had been handcuffed on board and removed.

“We landed safely and then he announced that they had some kind of threat from someone and that’s why he landed the plane,” the passenger said, speaking by telephone.

“Essex Police have boarded a passenger plane diverted to Stansted Airport and two men have been arrested on suspicion of endangerment of an aircraft. They have been removed from the plane,” the police said in a statement. The force is responsible for the area where Stansted is located.

“The two men arrested on suspicion of endangerment of an aircraft are aged 30 and 41. They are being taken to a police station for interview by detectives,” the police added.

Stansted is one of London’s less busy airports, preferred as a location for handling airplane security incidents. A spokesman for the airport said the plane was being held in an isolated area and that the rest of the airport was operating as normal.

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service said 10 fire engines had been sent to the airport.

The Pakistani plane was a Boeing 777, according to the flight tracking website www.flightradar.com.

According to two tracking websites, the aircraft broke off from its descent about 60 miles east of Manchester.

It turned and followed a wide arc over northeast England and out to the North Sea before heading towards London.

Britain launches military planes to intercept unidentified aircraft when they cannot be identified by other means, for example when the aircraft is not talking to air traffic controllers.

(Additional reporting by Brenda Goh, Kate Holton, Tim Hepher; writing by Estelle Shirbon; Editing by Kevin Liffey)


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

Explosions in new Boston Marathon bomb panic, 'twisted'…

A fresh Boston Marathon terror alert, which caused Bomb Squad officers to order an evacuation while two controlled explosions were carried out, was today being…

National

Reddit boosts news capabilities in social media turf…

By Jennifer SabaNEW YORK (Reuters) - Reddit, a website with a retro-'90s look and space-alien mascot that tracks everything from online news to celebrity Q&As,…

Local

New York joins accord to strengthen popular vote…

New York State joined a nationwide effort that would gives the state's 29 electoral votes for president to the candidate who wins the national popular vote.

National

Missouri man charged with sexually torturing five women

A Missouri man has been charged with raping and torturing five women in a St. Louis-area apartment over several years, law enforcement officials said on Tuesday.

Television

'Orphan Black's' Jordan Gavaris talks Felix's Season 2…

Jordan Gavaris plays heroically helpful foster sibling Felix to main clone Sarah on "Orphan Black." We talked to him about what’s ahead for him in…

Going Out

Accomplice Tour: New York (Spoiler Alert)

When I signed up for the Accomplice show tour, I had no idea what I was in for. But every grimy job comes with a great reward.

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, April 15: 'New Girl,'…

'New Girl' Nick and Jess are hiding their breakup from the other loft residents. And Winston passes the police academy exam! That guy needed some…

Television

'Orphan Black' is back with 'crazy clone shenanigans'

“Orphan Black” is the little show that could. It had a few things working against it: a sci-fi premise, attracting an audience who had never…

NBA

Nets miss chance to clinch No. 5 seed…

Nets head coach Jason Kidd expressed little concern after a 109-98 loss to the Knicks, but others seemed to disagree.

NFL

Jets confident despite Chris Johnson leaving with no…

Jets fans clamored for a playmaker on offense all offseason. It looked like they were going to land that player on Tuesday when Chris Johnson…

NBA

Knicks, Nets rivalry never materialized despite national attention

When the NBA schedule was released, the league anticipated an intense rivalry between the Nets and Knicks with all four games slated for national TV.

NBA

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could…

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could the Mavericks surprise?

Home

Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…

Home

How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…

Style

Personalize your massage at a private practice

CityTouch customizes spa treatments to meet client's needs.

Style

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show moving to England

It will still broadcast on CBS this fall.