A civilian passenger jet was forced to land at the Stansted airport in London when two Royal Air Force Typhoons were scrambled to intercept the plane as suspicious items were found in the plane’s toilet.
Two passengers on board have been booked under the Terrorism act, as armed police officers surrounded the plane as soon as it landed. The pair – a 34-year-old man from Kuwait and a 48-year-old man from Italy – were detained shortly after 7 pm on Sunday after arriving from Vienna, police said.
The crew was alerted by a passenger over a “potential security threat” onboard, after which the British authorities were informed and RAF Typhoon jets were scrambled to intercept the flight. Police arrested the individuals after the flight landed at 19:20 hours on Sunday evening.
The pilot taxied to a remote stand where passengers disembarked safely. The passengers also informed that the officers boarded and took away two men after the suspicious items were discovered in the toilets.
The company spokesman also pointed out that the matter is now in the hands of the Police who have started the investigations. “Counter Terrorism Policing officers from the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit have this evening (Sunday) detained two men under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act (2000),” the Essex Police said in a statement.
It was also informed that the inquiries and investigations are ongoing.
According to witnesses, two RAF Typhoons continued circling around the airport after the plane landed. According to the Mail Online, the jets are thought to have then headed in the direction of Cheltenham to be refueled, before appearing to return towards the base at RAF Coningsby.
An RAF spokesperson said: “Typhoon fighter aircraft from RAF Coningsby were launched this evening (Sunday) to intercept a civilian aircraft. The aircraft was escorted safely to Stansted.”