Ankara: A UK-bound Pakistan International
Airlines plane was forced to make an emergency landing in
Istanbul on Wednesday after it received a bomb threat over Bulgaria,
state-run Anatolia news agency reported.
Authorities quickly evacuated all 378 passengers from the
Boeing 777-300ER aircraft after it was parked at a remote
corner of the International Ataturk Airport, and bomb squads
began searching the plane with sniffer dogs, Anatolia
The plane received the threat somewhere near the Bulgarian
capital of Sofia, and contacted the control tower in Istanbul
to seek permission for the landing.
Television footage showed the PIA plane with the Pakistani
flag painted on its tail on the tarmac in Istanbul with about
a dozen ground workers nearby apparently after the plane was
evacuated. Firefighter trucks and ambulances were on standby
at a safe distance.
The plane took off from the Pakistan capital Islamabad and
was heading to Manchester, England, the agency said.