Berlin: An easyJet flight to London has made an unscheduled stop in Germany after the pilot became concerned about a suspicious conversation on board.
Three male passengers have been arrested, Cologne police said in a statement.
The plane coming from the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana landed at Cologne-Bonn airport at about 6.30pm on Saturday, after passengers reported that the men were talking about “terrorist matters”, Cologne police said.
Federal police seized a backpack that belonged to one of the men, and exploded it outside of the aircraft, police said. They gave no information on the contents of the backpack and said officials continued to investigate the backpack.
The men continued to be questioned late Saturday evening. Other passengers were also being questioned, police said.
Take-offs and landings were suspended for three hours, causing 10 flights to be diverted to other airports and delays to over a dozen more.
Bild newspaper quoted a spokesman for the German federal police as saying the pilot decided to land the aircraft in Cologne after passengers told airline personnel they had heard the men using words including “bomb” and “explosive”.
An EasyJet spokesperson told The Sun Online the captain took the decision to divert the plane as a precaution so additional security checks could be carried out.
“In compliance with the local authorities guidance passengers disembarked to allow additional security checks to be performed,” the spokesperson said.
“We plan to operate the flight tomorrow morning and so are providing all passengers with hotel accommodation and refreshments along with regular updates.
“We thank passengers for their understanding. The safety of easyJet’s passengers and crew is our highest priority.”
No comment was immediately available from federal police. – AP –