Security threat forces plane to land at Stansted
An Air India passenger plane has made a “precautionary landing” at Stansted Airport after the airline initially reported a bomb threat.
Flight AI191 was flying from the Indian city of Mumbai to Newark in the US.
The Ministry of Defence said RAF Typhoon fighter jets escorted the aircraft as it made its landing.
Air India tweeted there had been a bomb threat, then deleted the tweet. An airline official later told Reuters news agency the threat was a hoax.
A statement from Stansted Airport said the plane landed at about 10:15 BST and was now in an isolated part of the airport – and the main terminal is unaffected.
It was not known how many passengers were on board, the airport said.
One passenger – @DinoGoel – tweeted to say passengers were disembarked one by one, frisked and had their bags checked by hand and by sniffer dogs.
He said they were then put on a bus and taken to the terminal, where they were offered water and snacks.
“Passengers are cool and calm so far. It’s all good, everyone understands it’s a security issue,” he added.
An RAF spokesman said the Typhoon jets were launched from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire to escort the Air India plane to the airport in Essex.
He said they were authorised to fly at supersonic speed and across nearby Derbyshire, a sonic boom was heard.
The noise, which sounds like a thunder-clap, is created when an aircraft breaks through the sound barrier and can cause damage to structures.
The emergency services could not explain the cause of the loud bang heard shortly before 10:00 BST until the RAF confirmed it was their Typhoons and apologised for the inconvenience.