Man sectioned over Manchester Airport flight bomb hoax

A 47-year-old man arrested after a suspected bomb hoax on a Manchester Airport-bound flight has been sectioned under the Mental Health Act, Greater Manchester Police said.

A passenger on a Qatar Airways plane, which landed at Manchester Airport with an RAF Typhoon escort, has been arrested on suspicion of making a hoax bomb threat.

Fears were initially raised over "a possible device on board" by the pilot on board flight QR23 from Doha, Qatar, as it approached the airport.

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Man sectioned over Manchester flight bomb hoax

A 47-year-old man arrested after a suspected bomb hoax on a Manchester Airport-bound flight has been sectioned under the Mental Health Act, Greater Manchester Police said.

Police are continuing to question a passenger arrested after a suspected bomb hoax on a UK-bound flight led to an RAF fighter jet being scrambled to intercept it. The 47-year-old from the North West was held by armed officers who greeted flight QR23 from Doha, Qatar, when it arrived at Manchester Airport yesterday, escorted by a Typhoon jet.

The alert was sparked by fears of "a possible device on board" but Greater Manchester Police pronounced the Airbus A330-300 clear after searching it.

A force spokesman confirmed this morning that the man was still being held. Some of the 269 passengers on board the flight from the Gulf described seeing the fighter from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire come close to the civilian aircraft as it flew towards Manchester, with pictures and video posted online.

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Passengers 'were frightened by bomb rumours'

Another passenger aboard the Qatar Airways flight escorted into Manchester Airport today says children on board were crying amid "rumours there's a bomb on the plane".

Aureng Zeb, left, outside Manchester Airport today. Credit: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

Aurang Zeb, 60, returning from a holiday to his home in Bradford, said: "I thought there was something wrong because there was a jet flying so near."

Mr Zeb said the plane landed and was taken to an area well away from the terminal and other planes, where they waited for 45 minutes then moved again closer to the terminal.

"Then I saw all the police with guns. Lots of police everywhere," he added.

Mr Zeb said two armed police then came on and removed the suspect passenger, after sitting him up and telling him: 'Put your hands up'.

47-year-old man held over 'hoax bomb threat'

Police say the passenger held over an alleged bomb threat hoax on a Qatar Airways plane today is a 47-year-old man from the north-west.

“The incident arose when the pilot received information about a possible device on board the plane having been handed a note from a passenger," Greater Manchester Police said.

A full search of the aircraft had now been completed with nothing suspicious found, the force said.

Police say the man has been arrested on suspicion of making a bomb hoax and remains in custody for questioning.

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Manchester runway shut for 25 mins amid plane 'threat'

Manchester Airport confirmed its runway was closed for 25 minutes during this afternoon's plane emergency, which led to an arrest for a suspected hoax bomb threat.

A statement from the airport regarding the incident said:

Flight QR23 from Doha to Manchester landed safely this afternoon after the crew on board had received a threat during the flight. Runway operations were temporarily suspended at Manchester while the incident was dealt with and satisfactorily resolved by the authorities.

The airport reopened after a 25-minute runway closure. A number of incoming flights were diverted to nearby airports. Passenger safety remains the priority of the airline and airport.

– Manchester Airport spokesperson

Arrested man 'seemed no different to other passengers'

The man arrested by armed police at Manchester Airport "seemed no different to others on the plane", a fellow passenger has said.

Matthew Qox told the BBC: "Armed police came on and found a guy, searched him and made him stand up with his hands on his head and took him off the plane. He seemed no different to others on the plane, nothing unusual."

He also complained that he had only found out what was going on with the plane by searching on Twitter once the plane had landed at the airport.

"I wish we could have been kept in the loop. At least it's all a hoax, it could have been a lot worse," Mr Qox said.

Crew on board Qatar plane 'alerted British authorities'

Crew on board a flight from Doha to Manchester received a threat about a possible device on the aircraft and took "necessary precautions to alert British authorities", a statement from Qatar Airways said.

Qatar Airways can confirm that flight QR23 from Doha to Manchester, an Airbus A330-300, landed safely at Manchester Airport ahead of its scheduled arrival time of 13:15.

There were 269 passengers and 13 Qatar Airways crew on board. The crew onboard had received a threat about a possible device on board and Qatar Airways immediately took all the necessary precautions to alert British authorities.

The crew is now fully assisting police at the airport with their inquiries. The safety and well-being of our passengers and crew is our top priority.

As this is a matter of a police investigation, we cannot comment further at this time.

– Qatar Airways
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