A Turkish Airlines flight has been diverted to Shannon airport in Ireland where it made an emergency landing after officials discovered a handwritten bomb threat.
The Istanbul-bound Boeing 777, which was carrying 209 passengers, landed safely at Shannon at around 11am.
The diversion came after a handwritten note containing a ‘bomb threat’ was found on board.
The Boeing 777 landed safely at Shannon airport in Ireland at around 11am
Erez Lieberman Aiden said the passengers were woken up in the middle of the night by crew and asked to search their own bags
An image of the Turkish Airlines plane from Shannon airport
All the passengers, including two infants, disembarked safely and were moved to a secure part of the airport while officials swept the plane.
A passenger who was on the plane named Erez Lieberman Aiden said they were woken up in the middle of the night by crew and asked to search their own bags. Then, the crew had the passengers get in the aisles and started stripping the cushions off the chairs.
‘The crew were clearly well meaning. I am grateful to them for remaining composed,’ he tweeted. ‘Asking passengers to search their own bags is not a good plan.’
The man said that the only official word they received, until several hours post-landing, was that there was a ‘security event.’ But, after the search, he noticed that the plane had changed course from Istanbul.
‘So I paid $15 for internet and started googling for info. I realized that Turkish Airlines has had several recent bomb threats. Eventually, I started to get information from google indicating a bomb threat on our flight,’ Aiden, who is assistant professor at Baylor College of Medicine & Rice University in Houston, tweeted.
The emergency services assembled at the airport ahead of the landing.
The plane had departed from Houston, Texas at 9.07pm local time Saturday (3.07am GMT Sunday).
It was was due in Istanbul, Turkey at around 4.45pm GMT.
A spokeswoman for Shannon airport said Garda were investigating the ‘security issue’.
‘The aircraft landed safely at 11.02am and all passengers have now disembarked from the aircraft,’ she said.
‘The incident is now the subject of a follow-up investigation by an Garda Siochana.’