Published On: Sat, May 25th, 2013

‘Criminals not terrorists,’ two men arrested after RAF jets intercept plane, trying to enter cockpit and ‘blow up’ a joke

British police arrested two men aboard a diverted Pakistani airliner on Friday after Britain’s Royal Air Force scrambled Typhoon fighter jets to escort the airplane flying from Lahore to Manchester, in the north of England, according to defense ministry officials and the police.

Pakistan International Airlines spokesperson said the two men had threatened to blow the plane up, then said they were joking.

photo twitter

photo twitter

The plane was carrying 308 passengers and 14 crew from Lahore when it was rerouted.

“Essex Police have boarded a passenger plane diverted to Stansted Airport and two men have been arrested on suspicion of endangerment of an aircraft. They have been removed from the plane,” the police said in a statement.

The incident is believed to have happened about ten minutes before the plane was due to land in Manchester. The pilot was concerned about a disruptive passenger on the plane and requested air traffic control to divert to Stansted.

According to witnesses the plane crew received numerous threats including unconfirmed reports of bomb threats.

“We were about half-an-hour away from landing in Manchester and we saw the plane was taking different actions,” one of the passengers told the BBC.

Another passenger said that two men had repeatedly tried to get into the cockpit.

“The cabin crew informed us that basically they tried to come into the cockpit a few times and they got into a bit of an argument with the crew and made a few threats,” Umari Nauman told Sky News.

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) now states that the incident was a result of a family argument during the flight. “There was a family of eight to 10 people on the plane and they were quarreling among each other. When PIA staff approached them and asked them to calm down, they told them to go away otherwise they would blow up the plane,” the PIA source said, according to AFP.

Superintendent Darrin Tomkins of Essex Police told reporters that they were treating the incident as a criminal offence and not a terror related incident. A spokesman for the airport meanwhile said that police might want to interview some of the passengers for more details on the incident.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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