An Air India flight from Mumbai to New York made an emergency landing in London Thursday after what the airline initially described as a bomb threat.
Air India tweeted at around 10.20 a.m. UK time that a Boeing 777 headed for Newark Airport had made a “precautionary landing at London Stansted Airport due to bomb threat.” The tweet was later deleted.
According to Reuters, which cited an Air India official, the bomb threat was a hoax. The official added that the plane is now back in the air, Reuters said. Business Insider was not immediately able to contact Air India.
London Stansted confirmed the emergency landing, but did not specify the nature of the incident.
“An Air India Boeing 777 diverted into London Stansted Airport at approximately 10:15hrs and landed safely with Essex Police in attendance. It is parked on an isolated stand away from the normal airport operations,” the airport said in a statement.
Normal operations have resumed at the airport, the statement added.
The Royal Air Force confirmed to Business Insider that Typhoon jets were scrambled to escort the flight to the ground.
“The RAF can confirm Quick Reaction Alert Typhoon aircraft were launched this morning from RAF Coningsby to intercept a civilian aircraft. The aircraft was safely escorted to Stansted airport,” it said in a statement.
CNN reports that residents in Derby, a city around 120 miles north of London Stansted, reported hearing a “loud bang” at around 10.00 a.m. local time. It is thought that the noise may have been caused by the Typhoon jets breaking the sound barrier.
“The Typhoon aircraft were authorized to transit at supersonic speed for operational reasons; any inconvenience caused to local residents is regretted,” the RAF’s statement added.
The aircraft had already flown past the UK’s mainland and was over Northern Ireland when it turned back to Stansted. An image from FlightRadar24 shows the Air India flight making a rapid about turn:
Stansted is a favored location for potentially dangerous situations. It is the preferred landing ground for Air Force One during presidential visits to the UK.
Source: Business Insider