[BBC News] RAF Typhoon jets have been launched to investigate an incident involving a civilian aircraft within UK airspace, the Ministry of Defence has said.

A reported on board incident created an alert: Picture Wikipedia

A reported on board incident created an alert and diverted the aircraft: Picture Wikipedia

A Pakistan International Airlines plane has been diverted from Manchester to Stansted Airport, a Manchester Airport spokesman said.

An Essex Police spokeswoman added: “An incident has occurred on an aircraft. Police and partners are responding.”

The BBC understands that the plane has now landed in Stansted.

The plane reportedly left Lahore at 09:35 local time. It was due in at Manchester at 1400 BST.

 

UPDATE at 14:55

The BBC understands that the plane has now landed in Stansted.

BBC defence correspondent Jonathan Beale said that police were expected to meet the plane at the airport. The plane, flight number PK709, reportedly left Lahore at 09:35 local time. It was due in at Manchester at 14:00 BST.

The MoD said responsibility for the incident had now passed to Essex Police and the Home Office. The MoD was not able to say how serious a threat there was on board.

An MoD spokesman said the incident was now a police matter and that “our involvement is over”.

He said Typhoon jets could be scrambled after the pilot or crew of a passenger aircraft sends out an emergency signal.

“The purpose of going up is to investigate what the situation is,” he said.

“Often when a Quick Reaction Alert aircraft is launched the details are not known, but it is known that a signal has been sent.

“Part of the purpose of sending a Typhoon up is to have a look and see what they can see.”

A Pakistan International Airlines spokesman Zufiqar Bijarani told CNN: “We have been told there may have been a bomb threat.” But he did not say if he had anything to confirm or deny this.

Stansted Airport said on Twitter that it was operating normally.

Pakistan International Airlines said there were 308 passengers on board, as well as 14 crew including pilots, with a mixture of Pakistani and British passport holders.

Read the original story at BBC News…..


BBC NEWS
24th May, 2013


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