Woman Delays Flight With Bomb Scare
Woman Delays Turkish Plane With Fake Bomb Warning
By Reuters on 20 June 2007 in News
A woman falsely claimed there was a bomb on board a Turkish airliner on Wednesday to try to delay the flight so her husband could catch it, Turkey's Onur Air said on Wednesday. Both of them were arrested.
Airline staff found out the bomb warning was a hoax in time to stop the plane from making an emergency landing in Ankara and it was able to continue to Istanbul as planned from the southeastern city of Diyarbakir, the airline said.
"We learned that the warning came from the wife of a passenger who was late for the airplane. We believe that the warning was made in order to delay the flight," said Onur Air spokesman Rauf Gerz.
"The police detained the passenger and his wife. They told us the warning was fake and that the plane could continue its flight."
Ankara is about halfway between Diyarbakir and Istanbul.
Bomb warnings and plane hijackings are far from unknown in Turkey, where a number of radical groups ranging from Kurdish separatists to far-left militants operate.
In April, a Turkish man hijacked a Pegasus Airlines passenger plane from Diyarbakir to Istanbul, diverting it to Ankara. The hijacker, who had a drug-related criminal record, gave himself up to authorities.
Last October, hijackers wanting to send a message to Pope Benedict seized control of a Turkish Airlines plane flying from the Albanian capital Tirana to Istanbul and forced it to land in Brindisi, southern Italy.
Turkish authorities have been on alert following increased attacks by Kurdish separatist guerrillas in southeast Turkey. Diyarbakir is the largest city in the mainly Kurdish southeast.
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