Hoax bomb threat forces EgyptAir flight to force land

Published on : Wednesday, June 8, 2016

EgyptAirAn EgyptAir flight resumed its journey from Cairo to Beijing after being cleared by authorities. The plane had conduct an emergency landing due to a hoax bomb threat from an anonymous caller. All 118 passengers and 17 crew on board the Airbus A330-220 were evacuated at Urgench International Airport.

The aircraft was searched for bombs by Uzbek security forces but no explosive device was found, Egyptian officials said.

The chairman of EgyptAir, Safwat Mussallam,said Flight MS955 left Cairo at 21:55 GMT (23:55 Cairo time) on Tuesday and was scheduled to land in Beijing at 07:34 GMT (15:34 Beijing time) on Wednesday.

During the flight, an anonymous caller telephoned security agents in Cairo to say a bomb was on board the aircraft and the pilot was told to land at the nearest airport.


The plane eventually touched down at Urgench, about 840km (600 miles) west of the Uzbek capital Tashkent, at 03:00 GMT (08:00 Tashkent time) on Wednesday, Uzbekistan Airways said in a statement.

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

“We must take any warning seriously,” he added.

Incidentally, three weeks ago, an EgyptAir flight from Paris to Cairo carrying 66 people crashed into the Mediterranean Sea.

The cause of the crash remains a mystery, although Egyptian officials suspect an act of terrorism is more likely than a technical failure.

French investigators said last week that signals from one of the plane’s black boxes had been detected about 290km (180 miles north) of the Egyptian coast.


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