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Pilot diverts London-bound flight to Germany over ‘suspicious conversation’

The flight was diverted to Cologne with passengers evacuated on emergency slides and three men arrested.

world Updated: Jun 11, 2017 09:06 IST
Agencies, Berlin
Flight diverted,Cologne,EastJet flight
An airplane of the British lowcost airline Easyjet preparing to land at Barcelona airport.(AFP File Photo)

A London-bound flight carrying more than 150 people was diverted to Cologne on Saturday evening due to a “suspicious conversation” heard on board, with passengers evacuated on emergency slides and three men arrested, German police said.

The EasyJet flight coming from the Slovenian capital Ljubljana landed at Cologne-Bonn airport at about 10 PM IST on Saturday.

The pilot of the flight decided to land after passengers told flight attendants “that several men were talking about terrorist activities,” a police spokesman told AFP, without elaborating on the content of their discussion.

After the plane landed in a secure area of Cologne-Bonn airport, federal police evacuated the 151 passengers down emergency slides. They isolated a backpack belonging to the three suspects, which was blown up by bomb squad officers.

The three men were handed over to police in Cologne, but no details were provided on the contents of their baggage or the reality of the terrorist threat.

Take-offs and landings were suspended for three hours, causing 10 flights to be diverted to other airports and delays to over a dozen more.

First Published: Jun 11, 2017 08:42 IST