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Europe

Spanish Flight Triggered Terror Alarm

A Spanish charter flight with some 180 Norwegian tourists on board caused a major European terror alarm on May 1, the day Europe celebrated its enlargement to 25 nations.

A Spanish charter flight with some 180 Norwegian tourists on board caused a major European terror alarm on May 1, the day Europe celebrated its enlargement to 25 nations. The crew on board the Air Europa aircraft flying from Bergen to Mallorca did not reply to calls from Danish, German and Dutch traffic controllers for about 15 minutes until two French jets managed to contact the pilots. Dutch and German military jets were also launched as it was feared terrorists had hijacked the aircraft. The German Ministry of Defense on Wednesday confirmed the incident, which was first reported by the Spanish daily newspaper El Pais. A spokeswoman for the Spanish flight operator explained to the BBC that the pilots were constantly listening to the required radio frequency, but had heard no specific request addressed to them. Such an incident is not a rare occurrence, according to the Spanish company, adding that in the first 10 days of May, 20 similar alerts were registered with the European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation. (EUobserver.com)

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