Bomb scare on Pakistani plane in Sweden possibly a hoax | Europe | News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 25.09.2010

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Bomb scare on Pakistani plane in Sweden possibly a hoax

A plane carrying 273 people en route from Canada to Pakistan was diverted to Sweden after a tip-off that a passenger was carrying explosives. Swedish police evacuated the plane, but found no explosives.

Pakistan Airlines Boeing 777 jet

The incident may have been a hoax, authorities say

Air traffic controllers diverted a Pakistan International Airlines passenger jet to Stockholm on Saturday after the pilot received a warning that a potential suicide bomber may be on board. Swedish police evacuated the plane and detained a suspect.

Flight PK782 was traveling from Toronto to Karachi when the pilot received word by radio that Canadian authorities suspected a passenger was carrying explosives.

The pilot requested to land at Stockholm's Arlanda airport, where all 273 passengers and crew aboard the Boeing 777 were safely evacuated.

No explosives were found on the suspect and an extensive search of the aircraft yielded "no dangerous substances," according to police spokesman Kjell Lindgren.

Anonymous tip-off

The incident began when Canadian police received an anonymous phone call. A woman, calling from a payphone after the plane had taken off, told authorities a passenger on board the flight was carrying explosives.

Another police spokesman in Sweden, Janne Hedlund, said the suspect had passed through all the usual security checks before boarding the flight. Police described him as a Canadian national of Pakistani origin in his 30s. The man, whose name was not made public, was released without charge after questioning.

Canadian police now say they are looking into whether the bomb alert was a "terrorist hoax."

Author: Gregg Benzow, David Levitz (ap/AFP/dpa/Reuters)
Editor: Sean Sinico

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