Passenger 'Terrorist' conversation leads to emergency flight diversion

Pauline Gross
June 19, 2017

The pilot diverted the flight and landed the plane at Germany's Cologne airport, where passengers were evacuated and the three men were arrested.

Three British men are being held over suspicious conversations held on board a UK-bound easyJet flight.

However, the three arrested passengers were later released after police officers who questioned them and examined their cellphones found no evidence they had planned an attack.

"The safety of easyJet's passengers and crew is our highest priority", it said.

The pilot had diverted the flight after passengers told flight attendants "that several men were talking about terrorist activities", a police spokesman told AFP, without elaborating on the content of their discussion.

A Cologne police spokesman said the men were aged 31, 38 and 48, and worked for a British company, but declined to name the firm.

After landing, all 151 passengers used emergency slides to exit the plane before they were interviewed by police at the German airport, the media outlet quoted Airport authorities as saying.

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In six other flights, police searches were made at other airports, according to the airport announcement, and as a result of the incident air traffic was affected for several hours.

The suspects were interrogated by the criminal police, with testimony interviews with other passengers also being conducted.

The flight from Ljubljana in Slovenia to London Stansted made a stop at Cologne Airport, where a backpack was blown up.

They are being questioned "on the suspicion of the preparation of a serious state-threatening violence", said a statement.

"We thank passengers for their understanding", EasyJet said.

"Passengers [also] had to undergo a check immediately after landing", the statement added.

The budget carrier said passengers were provided with hotel accommodations and it plans to operate the flight on Sunday morning.

Other reports by GizPress

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