Pakistan-bound plane with 273 people evacuated in Stockholm due to bomb threat

By Keith Moore, AP
Saturday, September 25, 2010

PIA plane evacuated in Sweden after bomb threat

STOCKHOLM — Passengers are being evacuated from a Pakistan International Airlines jet that made an emergency landing in Stockholm after Canadian authorities received a tip that a man on the plane was carrying explosives.

The passengers are leaving the aircraft and walking to buses parked on the runway, with a SWAT team standing by to search the plane. Police say there were 273 people on board the plane, which was bound from Toronto to Karachi when the pilot asked to land in Stockholm.

It was not immediately clear whether police had apprehended the suspect, who was described as a Canadian citizen of Pakistani origin.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

STOCKHOLM (AP) — A Pakistan International Airlines jet carrying 273 people bound from Toronto to Karachi landed Saturday in Stockholm after Canadian authorities received a tip that a man on the plane was carrying explosives, airport and police officials said.

The Boeing 777 landed safely at Stockholm’s Arlanda airport and was parked at a ramp away from the terminals as Swedish police prepared to board the aircraft and remove the man.

“We are not evacuating the plane,” Stockholm police spokeswoman Sussie Illum said. “We are going in to apprehend this person.”

Another police spokesman, Janne Hedlund, said the suspect was a Canadian citizen of Pakistani origin.

“He is not on any list (of people banned from flying) and he’s been through the security check in Canada,” Hedlund said. “We’re in contact with the pilot. Everything is calm on board.”

Bomb technicians were heading to the scene but police didn’t see an immediate need to evacuate because the plane and the passengers had cleared security checks in Toronto.

The plane was on its way from Toronto to Karachi, Pakistan, when the pilot requested permission to land in Stockholm, Arlanda airport spokesman Anders Bredfell said. The airport remained open to air traffic.

In Pakistan, a spokesman for state-run Pakistan International Airlines confirmed the incident involved flight PK782 to Karachi.

“The plane has landed at the Stockholm airport due to security reasons, airline spokesman Sultan Hassan said.

Calls to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Canada’s public safety department were not immediately returned.

Associated Press Writers Ashraf Khan in Karachi, Pakistan, and Rob Gillies in Toronto contributed to this report.

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