Plane diverted

An RAF Typhoon jet has been launched to investigate an incident involving a civilian aircraft in UK airspace. Reports said the aircraft was a Pakistani passenger plane which had been diverted from Manchester to Stansted.

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Passengers being taken off diverted plane at Stansted

The Pakistan International Airlines plane pictured at Stansted Airport. Credit: ITV News

Stansted Airport said passengers were being taken off the Pakistan International Airlines plane.

A spokesperson said the passengers "will be taken to a reception centre on the airport where police may wish to interview them about what they have seen".

"At some point police and the airline will arrange for their onward transportation to Manchester", they added.

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Men arrested on diverted flight taken to police station

Essex Police said the two men arrested on suspicion of endangerment of an aircraft have been taken to a police station to be interviewed:

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Passenger tells relative there was 'no warning or threat'

A relative of two PIA flight passengers said he spoke to his father on the phone after the plane landed at Stansted Airport.

Zohaib Sattar said his father Abdul told him there was "no warning or threat" before the flight was diverted.

Police vehicles pictured next to the PIA plane at Stansted Airport. Credit: ITV News

Zohaib Sattar said: "They have taken two people off the plane and are checking the plane all over.

"The rest are just sat there waiting for further information.

"My father said there was no warning or threat, all of a sudden the plane just turned around".

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Passengers say men 'tried to enter' plane's cockpit

A passenger told Pakistan's GEO TV that the two men arrested on board a Pakistan International Airlines plane had tried to move towards the cockpit during the flight.

Nauman Rizvi told the news channel that after the men were taken away by police, the flight crew told passengers there had been a terrorist threat and that the pilot had raised an alarm.

Passengers disembark the PIA flight PK709 at Stansted Airport after it is diverted. Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

Another passenger, Umari Nauman, told Sky News, "The cabin crew informed us that basically they tried to come into the cockpit a few times, and because they had been asked not to do that they got into a bit of an argument with the crew and made a few threats".

Ms Nauman said all the passengers had been ordered to leave their possessions on board before leaving the plane.

She also said helicopters escorted the aircraft before landing.

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BA pilots praised for 'quick, professional response'

Heathrow's chief operating officer Normand Boivin praised BA pilots for their quick, professional response to this morning's emergency landing.

I would like to pay tribute to BA's pilots and crew and Heathrow's fire and airside teams. In particular, I'd like to thank this morning's airport duty manager Mark Freeman and his team for their quick and professional response to today's incident.

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