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Lufthansa plane diverted to New York over bomb threat

A flight from the US to Germany made an emergency landing in New York after the German airline Lufthansa received a threatening phone call. Authorities evacuated the Airbus A380 which was carrying more than 500 people.

US officials were searching the plane, but had found nothing suspicious so far, New York Port Authority spokesman Steve Coleman told reporters on Tuesday.

The large A380 Airbus had taken off from Houston, Texas and was heading to Frankfurt in Germany, operated by the German flagship carrier Lufthansa. With the plane already in the air, the company's headquarters in Cologne allegedly received a bomb threat via telephone.

The pilot was notified and chose to divert to New York, Coleman said. A Lufthansa spokesman confirmed to the AFP news agency that their flight 441 landed safely to JFK, citing "security reasons."

According to Coleman, the plane was taken to a remote area of the New York airport and then cleared of all 530 passengers and crew. The passengers were put up at hotels for the night. No other flights were affected, Coleman added.

Lufthansa spokesman Jörg Waber neither confirmed nor denied receipt of a bomb threat on Tuesday morning, saying that he did not have enough information. Once the search is complete, the plane will return to Germany without passengers, Waber said.

dj/msh (AFP, dpa)

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