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Plane diverted after threat

16 June 2013, 10:01

Cairo - An EgyptAir flight to New York from Cairo was on Saturday diverted to a Glasgow airport after a passenger found a note abroad threatening to start a fire on the plane, a passenger told the BBC.

A spokesperson for Glasgow Prestwick Airport confirmed to dpa that the plane had been diverted and that police were at the scene.

BBC employee Nada Tafik was on board the plane and said she found a note in a toilet apparently threatening to start a fire.

"I'm actually the one who found the note in the rest room. When I went in to change my daughter about three hours into the flight, I found a note by the sink saying 'I set this plane on fire' with the seat number 46 D written on it," she said.

"So I immediately went to the crew and told them about it. It was on a hand napkin written in pencil and the pencil was actually still there so I told the crew to make sure to keep it so they can get any finger prints off of it. They locked the bathroom immediately so that no one could go into it," she added.

It took six hours before all 326 passengers were removed from the plane to be interviewed by police.

Police said the terror threat had not been raised by the incident and they were trying to find out who wrote the note.

Detective Superintendent Alan Crawford, of Police Scotland, said: "There was no one removed in handcuffs and no one has been detained or arrested and we're continuing our investigation into the note that was found and its origin and motive."

"Whether it is a prank or not this will be investigated thoroughly to establish the circumstances. We could never write something off as a prank without investigating," he added.

Prestwick Airport is designated to deal with emergency incidents and it remained open while the EgyptAir plane sat on a runway.

Tawfiq Assai, chairman of state-owned EgyptAir said: "The plane was flying over Europe when a passenger found in its toilet a piece of paper carrying a threat to blow it up."



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