- 32 updates
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.
Fears of a bomb threat prompted a full-scale security operation that saw a Qatar Airways plane flown into Manchester Airport accompanied by a fighter jet today.
ITV News Correspondent Paul Davies reports as passengers tell of their fears aboard the plane.
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".
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'.
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.
A passenger aboard the Qatar Airways flight at the centre of a bomb threat hoax says he and his fellow passengers had to use the internet to find out what was happening to the plane as crew said "nothing".
Asked what he said to the person next to him when a fighter jet appeared outside the window, Josh Hartley said "he was asleep so I didn't bother him".
A video posted on Facebook appears to show the Qatar Airways plane at the centre of a suspected bomb threat hoax as it is escorted by a fighter jet.
The video was uploaded by Pete Cassidy from Manchester, though its location and veracity cannot be verified.
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:
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 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.
Some of the clearest video of the plane being escorted into Manchester Airport has been posted online.
The video shows the passenger plane flying over houses as it is followed by the RAF jet.
The plane has since landed and a white male in handcuffs has been led off the Qatar Airways plane by armed police.