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Bomb threat forces emergency landing of Polish flight

A flight from Poland to Egypt was forced to land in the Black Sea city of Burgas after a passenger said explosives were on board. The passenger later confessed he had lied under the influence of alcohol.

Bulgarien Burgas Flughafen

The plane set down in Burgas in Bulgaria

A plane carrying 161 people made an emergency landing in city of Burgas in eastern Bulgaria on Thursday, following a bomb scare, Bulgarian authorities said. The jet was en route to the Red Sea resort of Hurghada in Egypt from Poland's capital, Warsaw.

Soon after take-off, a passenger in his sixties said that there were explosives on board. The plane landed in Burgas at 05:48 a.m. (0348 UTC).

The plane was evacuated, but no explosives have been found aboard after Bulgarian security forces conducted an extensive search, said Kristina Neykova, a spokeswoman for the Burgas airport. She said that the airport would remain closed.

The passenger who alerted crew about a possible bomb was taken into custody and admitted on questioning to having consumed alcohol, according to a Reuters report citing a police spokeswoman.

A spokesman for Polish national carrier LOT said the aircraft did not belong to the airline but was a charter, destined for the Egyptian city of Hurghada.

"A passenger informed the cabin crew about the explosive he might be carrying," Small Planet Airlines, which operated the flight, said in a statement. "(He) ... later admitted it was a joke."

Two separate Air France flights bound for Paris were diverted after they had been "subjects of anonymous threats" received after their respective take-offs." The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said both planes landed and all passengers disembarked with no incidents.

hf/msh (Reuters, AFP)