Man Arrested On Suspicion Of Making A Hoax Bomb Threat After Military Jet Escorts Plane Into Manchester Airport

The Qatar Airways flight was traveling from Doha.


Greater Manchester police have said a man has now been arrested on suspicion of making a hoax bomb threat.

Andrew Yates / Reuters

3. A Qatar Airways plane has been escorted into Manchester Airport by an RAF jet after the pilot received information about a possible device onboard.

5. Qatar Airways said Flight QR23 was carrying 269 passengers and 13 crew members when the threat was received, and the airline “immediately took all the necessary precautions to alert British authorities”.

6. Responding to the incident, chief superintendent John O’Hare of Greater Manchester police said in a statement:

An incoming plane has been escorted into the airport by the RAF as a result of information received by the pilot about a possible device on board.

We don’t know how genuine this threat is but it is absolutely vital we deal with the situation as a full emergency.

As a result, people will see the police and other agencies at the airport and on the airfield.

At this time I would urge them not to be alarmed.

Our response will be as comprehensive as it is proportionate, with the safety of those on board and in and around the airport our paramount concern.

7. Qatar Airways confirmed that the plane was an Airbus A330-300 traveling from Doha to Manchester.

Qatar A330 being escorted by RAF Typhoon in to Manchester

— Talbot (@FlatCapTalbot)

Another pic at #ManchesterAirport

— Becky Sullivan (@Beckiiki)

9. Twitter user Josh Hartley, who appears to have been on the flight, posted pictures of the military jet escorting the plane.

Being escorted in

— Josh Hartley (@JoshHartley_)

Landed duno what the fuck is happening.

— Josh Hartley (@JoshHartley_)

— Josh Hartley (@JoshHartley_)

Armed police outside the plane

— Josh Hartley (@JoshHartley_)

14. Matthew Qox, who claims he was sitting next to Hartley on the flight, tweeted this picture of police appearing to escort a man off the plane once it landed.

@BBCBreaking police escort

— Matthew Qox (@MattPeterC)

15. Flights were reportedly diverted to Leeds Bradford Airport as a result of the incident.

Flights to Manchester are now diverting to Leeds

— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24)

16. An eyewitness told Manchester Evening News: “I saw the fighter jet come from nowhere on the heels of the passenger plane. It seemed really close and was incredibly noisy.”

“I thought it was going to hit the plane. It was circling so close. The jet looked like it was following the plane to the airport..”

17. At 2pm, Greater Manchester police said it was “business as usual” at the airport after a passenger was removed by officers.

It's now business as usual at @manairport due to swift partnership response. Police still dealing with the matter as an isolated incident.

— G M Police (@gmpolice)

The plane has been moved to allow specialist officers who are dealing with the incident to board.

— G M Police (@gmpolice)

A passenger has been taken off the plane by officers at @manairport. We will work to get others off as swiftly and safely as possible.

— G M Police (@gmpolice)

20. Following the incident, the airline released the following statement:

Qatar Airways can confirm that flight QR23 from Doha to Manchester, an Airbus A330-300, landed safely at Manchester Airport ahead of its scheduled arrival time of 13:15.

There were 269 passengers and 13 Qatar Airways crew on board. The crew onboard had received a threat about a possible device on board and Qatar Airways immediately took all the necessary precautions to alert British authorities.

The crew is now fully assisting police at the airport with their inquiries. The safety and well-being of our passengers and crew is our top priority. As this is a matter of a police investigation, we cannot comment further at this time.

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Richard James is acting head of news for BuzzFeed Australia and is based in Sydney.
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