RAF escorts Qatar Airways plane to Manchester

Aug 5, 2014

Typhoon fighter scrambled as RAF responds to claims of a device on a Qatar Airways flight

Jeff Schear/Getty Images for Qatar Airways

An RAF fighter jet was scrambled to escort a Qatar Airways passenger plane to Manchester Airport today after the crew were warned of a possible device on board.

A Typhoon fighter from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire shadowed flight QR23 on its approach to Manchester, the BBC reports.

Police have since confirmed that a man has been arrested on suspicion of making a hoax bomb threat.

Greater Manchester Police had earlier told the BBC that they were treating the event as a "full emergency" as they were still not certain "how genuine this threat is".

Chief Superintendent John O'Hare said: "An incoming plane has been escorted into the airport by the Royal Air Force as a result of information received by the pilot about a possible device on board.

"We don't know how genuine this threat is but it is absolutely vital we deal with the situation as a full emergency.

"As a result people will see the police and other agencies at the airport and on the airfield. At this time I would urge them not to be alarmed.

Manchester Airport suspended all take-offs and landings during the emergency, but flights have since resumed.

One passenger, Josh Hartley, who took pictures of the RAF jet from on board the Qatar Airways Airbus A330, said cabin crew did not offer any information to passengers while the plane was in the air, The Guardian reports. "I found out what was happening on Twitter," he said.

A passenger was escorted from the Qatar Airways plane when it landed, ITV  reports. Another passenger, Matthew Qox, tweeted an image of a man being led away.

According to the Bleacher Report, Manchester United's flight back from US tour was briefly delayed by the security threat.

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