Plane forced to land in scare
over security back in the air

Passengers leave the Egyptair aircraft flying from Cairo to New York after it was diverted to Prestwick Airport, Ayrshire
Passengers leave the Egyptair aircraft flying from Cairo to New York after it was diverted to Prestwick Airport, Ayrshire
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A plane which made an emergency landing in Scotland escorted by jet fighters after a threat to set it on fire was discovered is back in the air.

The aircraft travelling between Egypt and the US was diverted on Saturday but following a search of the plane by police officers overnight, it was allowed to continue its journey yesterday morning.

“Officers from Police Scotland have carried out an extensive search of the aircraft resulting in no suspicious items being found,” a spokesman for the service said.

“Passengers and crew are now aboard and the aircraft is continuing its flight to New York. Officers continue to investigate the circumstances of the incident.”

The Egypt Air Boeing 777 was escorted to Prestwick Airport, Ayrshire, by Typhoons from RAF Leuchars during its flight from Cairo to JFK Airport in New York.

It landed about 2.30pm yesterday and was met by a heavy police presence. It took six hours before all 326 people on board were removed from the plane to be interviewed by police.

BBC employee Nada Tafik was on board the plane and said she found a note in a toilet apparently threatening to start a fire.

She told the BBC News Channel: “I’m actually the one who found the note in the rest room. When I went in to change my daughter about three hours into the flight, I found a note by the sink saying ‘I set this plane on fire’ with the seat number 46 D written on it.

“So I immediately went to the crew and told them about it.

“It was on a hand napkin written in pencil and the pencil was actually still there so I told the crew to make sure to keep it so they can get any fingerprints off of it. They locked the bathroom immediately so that no one could go into it.

“It almost looked like a child’s handwriting or someone who has very sloppy handwriting, but it was very alarming especially these days when everyone is so concerned about safety on flights. I said to one of the stewardesses ‘I don’t know if this is a prank’, they said ‘no, it can’t be a prank’.

“Either someone has a very bad sense of humour or, you know, it’s very scary.”

The plane was searched by officers once all passengers had disembarked.

Prestwick Airport is designated to deal with emergency incidents and it remained open while the Egypt Air plane sat on a runway.