PIA planes cleared for flying after bomb threats

Last Updated: Thursday, September 8, 2011 - 09:30

Karachi: The two of planes of Pakistan
International Airlines, which received bomb threats while
flying and were grounded at Istanbul and Kuala Lumpur, have
been cleared to resume their flights.

PIA aircraft were given clearance after authorities at
the two airports conducted thorough search, a PIA official
said.

The official said the bomb threats were received through
emails while the aircraft were in mid-air, and the identity of
the sender and from where they came from are not yet known.

"It was a difficult few hours for the airlines as both
flights were fully booked and we didn`t want to cause panic
among the passengers so it was decided to make the emergency
landings to carry out a search for the bombs," he said.

In Istanbul where the aircraft bound to Manchester made a
landing was searched after the authorities evacuated its 378
passengers and crew members.

A statement released by PIA read that an anonymous email
was received by the PIA Cargo division last evening,
indicating a bomb threat aboard two out bound flights from
Lahore.

The threat was conveyed to Pakistani security agencies
along with those in Kuala Lumpur and Istanbul.

An investigation by concerned security agencies is being
conducted in this regard, the PIA statement concluded.

Sniffer dogs were used to scour the plane for explosives
which were parked at isolated bays. The second plane flying to
the Malaysian capital had 164 passengers on board.

A security official said the bomb threats were taken
seriously as yesterday suspected Taliban suicide bombers
carried out attacks in Quetta killing 26 people and wounding
around 80.

The Pakistani Taliban has claimed responsibility for the
twin suicide bombings, saying it was to avenge the recent
arrests of al Qaeda operatives.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, September 8, 2011 - 09:30

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