Flight Diverted Over United Kingdom; Two Men Arrested

Royal Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets — similar to this one — were summoned to intercept the Boeing 777-300 aircraft operated as Pakistan International Airlines flight 709 on Friday, May 24, 2013. Photograph ©istockphoto.com by jvdwolf.

A Boeing 777-300 aircraft operating as PIA Pakistan International Airlines flight 709 on its way from Lahore to Manchester was diverted to Stansted Airport near London while being escorted by fighter jets from the Royal Air Force of the United Kingdom in response to two passengers who allegedly threatened to blow up the airplane.

The two men — who were arrested by Essex Police on suspicion of endangering the 297 passengers and 11 crew members aboard the airplane — were removed from the aircraft at Manchester Airport.

Passengers supposedly reported that two men were repeatedly attempting to approach the cockpit. The threat to blow up the aircraft allegedly occurred after the suspects were engaged in an altercation with flight attendants, who then contacted the pilot. The fighter jets scrambled to intercept the airplane as a precautionary measure after the pilot summoned control authorities for assistance.

No explosive devices have been found at this time. Once all passengers and cargo have been screened and searched, they will continue on to Manchester after an expected delay of approximately four hours.

This incident is currently under investigation.

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