Aviation News

September 8, 2011

Bomb Threats Against Pakistan Airline Force Two Emergency Landings

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By: BNO News
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Two passenger planes operated by Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) landed safely in Turkey and Malaysia on Wednesday after a bomb threat was received, officials said on Thursday morning.

Pakistan International Airlines PIA Boeing 777-200ER AP-BGJ at JFK AIrport

Pakistan International Airlines PIA Boeing 777-200ER AP-BGJ landing at JFK Airport. (Photo by Mario J. Craig)

The threat came in on Wednesday afternoon when an anonymous email was received at PIA’s Cargo Division indicating that there were bombs on PIA flights 709 and 898. Emergency procedures were immediately activated as a precaution.

PIA flight 709, a Boeing 777 carrying 346 passengers, was en-route from Lahore in Pakistan to Manchester in England when it was made aware of the threat. It soon after made an emergency landing in the Turkish city of Istanbul, which was the nearest major airport.

PIA flight 898, an Airbus A310 carrying 164 passengers and 13 crew members, was en-route from Lahore to Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. It proceeded to its destination but was met by emergency services when it landed at KL International Airport (KLIA).

“The KLIA operations alerted all relevant agencies and activated its Airport Emergency Plan to prepare to handle the emergency,” a spokesperson for Malaysia Airports said. “The flight PK898 safely landed at KLIA Runway 32L at 9.24pm.”

After the passengers disembarked safely from the aircraft, the Airbus aircraft was parked at an isolated parking bay until an investigation and inspection determined there was no bomb on board. Authorities also interrogated the passengers as bomb disposal units searched their luggage.

It remains unclear who was behind the bomb threat, but an investigation is continuing.