Thursday, August 16, 2012

False Alarm in Frankfurt

There were several bomb scares in US-bound flights out of Frankfurt on Tuesday. All of them turned out to be false alarms, but passengers were delayed and some flights were cancelled.

Many thanks to Hermes for translating this report from yesterday’s FOUCUS online:

Bomb alarm in Frankfurt airport

Suspicion about explosives in two flights to the USA

According to information from FOCUS Online, serious incidents occurred on Tuesday in two transatlantic flights to the USA from the Frankfurt airport. The two planes remained on the ground for security reasons due to the strong suspicion that explosive charges were placed in the washrooms (of the planes).

As confirmed by US Airways on Wednesday upon request, Flight 703 to Philadelphia, among others, was cancelled. This was also confirmed by eyewitnesses to FOCUS Online. “After having checked in, one was told that an unidentified package was found in the washrooms of the plane,” said Alberto Friedmann, a trainer for the US Martial Arts team.

After this, the planes were moved to a remote and secured place. There the company informed the passengers on board that they were dealing with a suspicion regarding explosive charges. The passengers had to wait for two hours before being allowed to leave the plane. Friedman also said that he learned from the airline that a total of three flights to the USA were cancelled due to security reasons.

Suspicious person on board

The police authorities dealing with this issue did not want to answer questions, but they confirmed another incident on United Airlines Flight 118 of from Frankfurt to New York with 118 passengers and nine crew members. The captain halted the take-off process at about 09:30 a.m.

“The crew determined that a passenger was acting in a rather suspicious way and may have managed to smuggle a dangerous object onto the plane,” a spokesperson said to FOCUS Online. The Federal Police then searched the entire plane, taking security measures. The passengers and the baggage were checked again, and the suspicion was cleared up. The flight in question was cancelled by the company, and the passengers were transferred to other flights or temporarily accommodated in hotels.