Emergency landing: 'Suspicious conversation' causes diversion and evacuation of UK-bound flight
A planeful of easyJet passengers are expected to arrive back in London today around 19 hours late after a security scare on board their flight from Slovenia.
The Easyjet Airbus A319 with 151 passengers on board took off from the Slovenian capital Ljubljana shortly before 5pm on Saturday afternoon.
But the crew were told of a "suspicious conversation" between three men on board which was said to include "terrorist content".
The captain of flight EZY3246 decided to make an immediate diversion to Cologne-Bonn airport in Germany, and passengers were evacuated down emergency slides.
In a statement, German police said: “Three male passengers were temporarily arrested.”
A backpack was later blown up and a witness said two men were led away from the aircraft in handcuffs. Reports later said a third man had been detained.
Because the emergency slides had been deployed, the aircraft could not continue the journey.
At around 10pm, the easyJet operations centre told passengers: “We’re very sorry that your flight has now been delayed overnight. We were hoping that we would be able to continue with your flight today but due to the diversion it isn't possible to continue your journey to Stansted until tomorrow.”
There were then problems with passengers obtaining their baggage, with the airline saying after midnight: “If you have not been reunited with your luggage before leaving the airport tonight, please submit receipts to our customer services for any expenses incurred.”
Flights were suspended at the airport for about three hours, with at least 10 inbound flights diverted to nearby airports.
Independent News Service