Armed police officers were called to escort a passenger off a Turkey-bound Jet2 flight after reports were made that he may have been in possession of an explosive device.
According to statements from both East Midlands Airport and the airline, on August 21, Jet2 flight LS653 operating from Nottingham (EMA) to Antalya (AYT) was forced to return to the gate due to a “security incident”.
In a video filmed by a passenger, two armed officers were seen at the front of the aircraft ushering the accused 49-year-old male passenger off the jet, where he was later arrested. The accused appeared to be very compliant even though it was reported by the airline that he was being disruptive. Maybe the sight of guns changed his perspective.
In a separate video taken from the apron, the man could be seen being escorted off the Boeing 737-800 followed by his wife and daughter.
After a search of the passenger, his belongings and the aircraft, officers found no credible threats, and allowed the flight to continue on to Turkey. The incident resulted in the flight departing more than three hours after its scheduled time.
According to police, the passenger was later released from custody on bail pending further investigations.
In a statement, an airport spokesperson said: “At 5.16pm today (Monday), police were informed of a report of a male aboard an aircraft at East Midlands Airport who stated he was in possession of an explosive device. The aircraft was on the ground at the time of the incident.
“Officers worked with airport staff and with the aircraft crew to provide an immediate response to the report. In the interests of public and officer safety, armed officers were also deployed to the area of the aircraft.
“Following instruction, the man safely left the aircraft where he was arrested. The aircraft has been fully searched. No explosive device has been found onboard and there is no suggestion that the threat made is viable.
“Following initial assessment, it was not deemed that evacuation of the aircraft was required.”
A Jet2 spokesperson said: “We can confirm that flight LS653 from East Midlands to Antalya returned to stand earlier this evening so police could offload a disruptive passenger. The flight has now departed, and we would like to apologise to everyone onboard for any inconvenience or upset caused by this unforeseen incident.”
[Featured Photo: phillowe1/Twitter (screenshot)]