Terrorism Alert on EasyJet Flight to UK
Passengers’ Suspicious Activity Diverts EasyJet Flight
Three men have been arrested by German police “on the suspicion of the preparation of a serious state-threatening violence”, according to an official statement. EasyJet flight EZY3246 was en route from Slovenia to the UK when “a suspicious conversation” including what has been described as “terrorist content” was overheard.
The EasyJet flight to Stansted was diverted to Germany, making an emergency landing at Cologne (Köln) airport, Saturday evening.
Three Arrests and Suspicious Luggage Blown Up
Approximately 151 passengers were evacuated from the plane using emergency slides. An eye-witness said that two men were led away from the aircraft in handcuffs. Reports later added that a third man had also been detained. A backpack was later blown up
EasyJet flight EZY3246 was en route from the Slovenian capital Ljubljana to London Stansted diverted to Cologne-Bonn airport at about 6.30pm (5.30pm UK time) on Saturday.
After being evacuated, passengers were taken to a gate to be checked by police and the airport said experts had “blown up” a piece of luggage.
A passenger on the flight told Sky News that they were initially told the aircraft was diverting for “operational reasons”. After landing the plane taxied to a quiet area of the airport where it was surrounded by police. According to the passenger:
We were told they would board to deal with a security situation. When they boarded, they went to the back and took off two men plus two other passengers, who were the ones that reported the two men to cabin crew. The two men were questioned outside separately, then handcuffed and taken away and police wanted us off the plane quickly, so we had to use emergency slides.
He said there was no panic on board and everyone was briefly questioned by police and told they would be put up in a hotel.
However, the passenger said it was 3am on Sunday before they were finally provided with a room. They will fly back to the UK later this morning.
Air traffic was suspended for three hours during the security alert, leading to 10 other flights being diverted and delays to 20 outbound flights.
EasyJet said the captain had landed “as a precaution to enable the aircraft to go through additional security checks in Cologne where the aircraft was met by the police”.
As yet German police have released no further details of the suspects and have not confirmed whether this was terrorism related.