Plane bomb hoax probe man sectioned

A man arrested after a suspected bomb hoax on a UK-bound flight has been sectioned under the Mental Health Act, police said.

Loading Comments
Share
Print

The 47-year-old from the North West was arrested by armed officers who greeted flight QR23 from Doha, Qatar, when it arrived at Manchester Airport yesterday, escorted by an RAF Typhoon jet.

Greater Manchester Police said today that he had been sectioned.

A spokesman said: "Following his arrest he was assessed by medical staff and again by a mental health team.

"He was subsequently sectioned to allow for a fuller assessment and appropriate treatment."

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.

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.

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

He 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.

Mr Zeb added: "Then I saw all the police with guns. Lots of police everywhere.

"Kids were crying, some people looked very worried because of rumours there's a bomb on the plane."

Mr Zeb said two armed police then came on and removed the suspect passenger.

"They sat him up and said 'Put your hands up'. He did not say anything.

"People were still worried something might be on board.

"There was a rumour of a bomb on the plane so people are scared. Thank God for that not happening."

Passengers said two armed police arrested the suspect, who was ordered to put his hands on his head before being led away.

Indian Manju Geo, who was coming to the UK to visit family in Stoke, said: "At least two police came on and took one man off called Mr Roy.

"We were told he was writing some notes on the flight and the air hostess found that."

Manchester Airport said nine incoming flights had to be diverted to other airports, with five of these landing at Leeds Bradford Airport.

One of the flights that landed on time at Manchester once the emergency was over was the plane carrying Manchester United back from Florida, where the team has been engaged in a pre-season friendly tournament.

Last night, GMP chief superintendent John O'Hare said: "A 47-year-old man from the North West has been arrested on suspicion of making a bomb hoax and remains in police custody for questioning.

"A full search of the aircraft has now finished and nothing suspicious was found."

Passenger Josh Hartley, who was flying with friend Matt Cox,said he spotted the RAF Typhoon outside the window of the passenger plane after they had circled several times.

Mr Hartley told BBC Breakfast: "We were coming in to land (and) about eight minutes, 10 minutes before we landed, a fighter jet came alongside. I looked out the window, then I just started shaking - (it was) a bit terrifying seeing a fighter jet outside the window."

He said passengers had not been given information about what was happening by the crew of the Qatari plane, who even gave them the standard weather update before they touched down.

Instead they found out there had been a bomb scare from news websites and Twitter.

Mr Cox, who was asleep in his seat until the aircraft landed, told the broadcaster: "We didn't get told anything about the nature of what was happening at any point

"It's not nice finding things out from Twitter rather than the people who are supposed to be in charge of you. Obviously we know why they did it."

Travel

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on Evening Times on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis. If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

175050

Have you got a story?

Contact the news desk on 0141 302 6520 or email news@eveningtimes.co.uk
Games news:

Putting the world to rights

Gail's Gab

A gallus fox, Tommy and I prepare for Strictly and a few comedy laughs.

Times Out

Entertainment

Lifestyle

TV Advert
Cat’s Eyes on Glasgow

Cat’s Eyes on Glasgow

Cat Cubie’s job is to find and share with you the fabulous things the city has to offer, from gigs to gastro.

Janice Bell

Janice Bell

You Couldn't Make This Up

The art of keeping fit with breakfast in bed

Michelle McManus

Michelle McManus

Columnist Michelle McManus is Sussed in the City, and loves to chat about anything and everything.