Singapore Airlines jet receives bomb threat mid-flight

by Alister POOLE on October 6, 2010

A Singapore Airlines flight heading to Singapore from Moscow was forced to make an emergency landing in India after credible bomb threats were received mid-flight.

A bomb squad was rushed to Dum Dum airport in Kolkata shortly after the aircraft landed. Passengers were immediately evacuated and security forces arrived to search all baggage and the aircraft in an isolation bay. No suspicious items were found during the searches.

SIA confirmed the incident, which according to a spokesman occurred on board flight SQ61. He added that the flight was carrying 220 passengers, but would not reveal the number of Singaporean passengers on board.

The plane landed in Kolkata around 2am and all passengers were provided with accommodation by the carrier, said the spokesman. The pilot had also informed the New Delhi airport that there was a mid-fligth bomb scare, but was denied permission to land. According to reports, the aircraft was denied permission due to security concerns over the ongoing Commonwealth Games.

Passengers were scheduled to depart Kolkata aboard the same flight last night and arrive in Singapore the same day at 10.40pm. Vice-president of public affairs for the airline, Nicholas Ionides said that Singapore Airlines was sorry for the inconvenience to its passengers, but that it would not compromise the safety and security of those onboard.

According to the Singapore Airlines website, the company operates 19 Boeing 777-300 ER, one of which was the subject of the bomb threat. The 19th Commonwealth Games are currently going on in New Delhi after opening on Sunday. The Games will continue until Thursday, during which time security in the city remains heightened.

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