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The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK
Tobi Thomas

Spanish fighter plane intercepts easyJet flight after false bomb threat

An easyJet flight was intercepted by a Spanish fighter plane after a bomb threat was allegedly made by a British teenager onboard.

Video footage taken by a passenger on the commercial flight appears to show an F18 fighter warplane flying closely beside the easyJet flight from London Gatwick to Menorca on Sunday.

The Civil Guard confirmed that Menorca airport’s control tower was alerted to a bomb threat made on social media by an 18-year-old British man, prompting a special operation to be organised.

Once the plane landed in Mahon, the island’s capital, the flight was taken to a separate area from the main terminal and was subject to bomb disposal experts and sniffer dogs.

The Civil Guard have since concluded that the bomb threat was false. The 18-year-old has since been arrested, and is expected to face a bill which would cover the costs of the police operation.

A spokesperson for the Civil Guard said: “The Civil Guard has arrested an 18-year-old British national as the alleged author of a crime of public disorder in Mahon in Menorca.

“Yesterday the control tower at Menorca airport was alerted to a bomb threat on a plane heading from London to the island’s capital, Mahon, which was still in the air and nearing the airport. The threat was said to have been sent on a social media platform.

“Once the plane landed it was taken to an area away from the main terminal and other aircraft. The Civil Guard organised a special operation which consisted of mobilising bomb disposal experts as well as sniffer dogs and other officers who created a safe perimeter around the plane.

“The passengers were disembarked and established protocol followed until police were able to confirm it was a false bomb threat, and the person responsible was identified on social media along with five other companions as witnesses. They were taken to a police station so officers could clarify the situation.”

An easyJet spokesperson said: “EasyJet can confirm flight EZY8303 from London Gatwick to Menorca was escorted by military aircraft while landing in Menorca and delayed disembarking due to precautionary security checks.

“The safety and security of its passengers and crew is always easyJet’s highest priority, and we would like to thank passengers for their understanding.”

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