Pakistan News : British police Friday arrested a couple of passengers on suspicion of endangerment of the aircraft after forcing a Pakistan International Airways (PIA) Flight PK709 to land at Stansted airport following a mid-air alert.
According to sources both the British nationality holder Pakistani nationals were arrested after they reportedly had a spat with the crew.
According to PIA sources the suspects had allegedly threatened to bomb the plane with explosives. A panicked stewardess alarmed the pilot, Captain Nadeem Sufi, who sent a stress signal to London control tower triggering the security alert, which led to the force-landing of the plane.
There were 297 passengers and 11 crew members were on the plane.
Initially Essex Police said that a man namely Mohammad Shafqat, and a woman, Ammara Ashraf have been arrested and removed from the plane, which is on an isolated runway at the airport.
Reportedly, it all started after Mohammad Shafqat and Ammara Ashraf, traveling with a number of other family members, engaged in a hot argument, which went out of control forcing the crew to intervene, who were warned to stay out of it.
The quarreling family went as far threatening the crew that they were going to blow the plane up, which caused this whole panic. However, they were released after police found out it was a petty domestic squabble.
A passenger Nauman Rizvi told GEO News that two passengers who had tried to move toward the cockpit during the flight were handcuffed and arrested once the plane landed. Rizvi said that after the men were taken away, the flight crew told passengers there had been a terrorist threat and that the pilot had raised an alarm.
Later, there were reports that another couple of men apart from the fussing spouses were also arrested amid the panic. Two men, aged 30 and 41, were held on suspicion of endangerment of an aircraft, Essex Police said
Earlier, Royal Air Force (RAF) Typhoon jets were scrambled to intercept the PIA plane, which escorted the Manchester-bound flight to Stansted.
Flight PK709 from Lahore was due to land at Manchester Airport in north west England at 1230 GMT. The plane was diverted to Stansted airport, east of central London, according to a Manchester Airport spokesman.
Essex Police, who are responsible for the area where Stansted is located, said an incident had occurred on a flight and they were investigating.
“The plane diverted to Stansted Airport has now landed at the airport. Police + partners are continuing to respond,” Essex Police in southeast England said in a Twitter message.
All the passengers were disembarked at the Stansted Airport and no one has been hurt, an airport spokesman said.
The news comes two days after a soldier was hacked to death on a London street in an incident the government are treating as a terrorist incident.