A RYANAIR plane travelling from the UK to Ireland had to be evacuated after a passenger approached cabin crew minutes before take-off to tell them that there was a bomb onboard.
The plane was preparing for its scheduled departure from Gatwick Airport at 6.10pm when a woman, seated at the rear of the plane, calmly walked towards the front of the cabin and told crew there was a bomb secretly hidden in the plane.
Emergency personnel mobilised swiftly as police and bomb disposal experts rushed to the scene.
A woman in her 50s – who was described as being in a "disorientated state" – was immediately arrested by airport police.
The scare occurred minutes before take-off and forced Ryanair to evacuate some 100 passengers and 10 crew preparing to take-off for Dublin.
No bomb was found and the plane took-off over an hour later and landed safely in Dublin.
One person who witnessed the drama unfold said passengers within earshot of the woman began to panic, while others started to cry.
"The police made an attempt to search the aircraft with people onboard by getting three people to stand up at a time," he said.
"But it was deemed a credible threat so everybody had to be taken off the aircraft.
"The captain was very angry. He was reasonably outspoken and announced at the front of the aircraft that the woman was going to be subject to a €6,000 fine from Ryanair."
A Ryanair spokesperson confirmed that a "security incident" had taken place and apologised to passengers for the delay.