Turkish Airlines plane diverted to Canada over bomb threat
A commercial passenger jet operated by Turkey’s national flag carrier Turkish Airlines has been forced to change direction and land in Canada following a bomb threat.
Canadian police said the aircraft with 256 people on board landed safely at Halifax Stanfield International Airport early on Sunday, after receiving a bomb threat while flying for Turkey’s most populous city of Istanbul from New York, the United States.
The Nova Scotia branch of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said passengers were disembarked and bussed to the terminal building, while a bomb squad searched the aircraft with sniffer dogs.
The RCMP said the bomb threat was received at 10:50 p.m. local time on Saturday (0450 GMT Sunday), when the flight had already taken off from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.
Canadian police said it would not comment on the details of the bomb threat as “investigation is in its early stages,” and that security officials are looking to identify the person or persons responsible.
Late on November 17, two Air France flights bound for Paris from the United States were diverted because of bomb threats.
Flight 65, en route from Los Angeles to the French capital, Paris, was diverted to Salt Lake City in the state of Utah after a bomb threat was reported from the ground, a US government official said. The aircraft landed safely.
The FBI and other law enforcement agencies surrounded the plane when it landed, evacuating nearly 500 passengers.
The other aircraft, flight 55 from Dulles International Airport in Virginia outside the US capital, Washington, was diverted to Halifax, Canada, and touched down safely.
The bomb threats came on the heels of a series of deadly attacks in Paris on November 13, which French President Francois Hollande described as “an act of war.”
Over 130 people were killed and scores injured in the shootings and explosions. The Takfiri Daesh terrorist group claimed responsibility for the carnage.