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Karachi-bound PIA plane lands in Sweden

PIA plan SwedenA Pakistan International Airlines Boeing 777 with about 250 passengers flying from Canada to Pakistan was evacuated after being diverted to Sweden on Saturday due to a bomb threat, and police detained one man.

A woman called Canadian police after the plane had taken off from Canada, saying a man on board had explosives with him, Stockholm district police spokesman Janne Hedlund said.

No explosives were found on the man, who was detained while passengers were being evacuated from the plane, Hedlund said.

His baggage and the plane were being searched, he said.

The plane was diverted to Arlanda, the Swedish capital’s main airport, after Canadian police informed the pilot of the threat while the plane was in Swedish airspace.

Passengers walked slowly in line to waiting buses. Armed policemen were seen taking up position near the plane, although fog made it difficult to see clearly what was happening.
Police were still investigating whether the man had explosives.

Pakistan International Airlines spokesman Syed Sultan Hassan told Reuters that 243 passengers were on board the flight. He did not give numbers of crew members.

“The pilot only informed us that he’s landing there due to security reasons. All passengers and crew members are well,” he said.

“Our central control is in touch with the plane and Stockholm but as far as security checks are concerned, they’re saying they are not going to tell us until they complete the process.”

At the airport, the plane was standing with its engines idling at the end of a runway, about two kilometres from the airport terminal building.

Several police cars were parked near the plane and a larger group of police vehicles and fire engines were parked further away.

Hedlund said that the man had passed through all the security checks before getting on the plane.

An airport spokesman said the plane was flying from Toronto and he thought the destination was Karachi. Stockholm airport was otherwise operating normally, he said. —Reuters

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