Three men arrested as London-bound flight is diverted to Cologne
Three men were arrested after a London-bound easyJet flight was forced to land in Cologne, Germany yesterday afternoon.
All 151 passengers on the flight from Ljubljana, Slovenia, disembarked via emergency slides after the pilot took the decision to make an unscheduled landing at Cologne-Bonn airport at about 5pm.
The three men were arrested after every passenger was made to leave the plane and undergo a security check.
A Cologne police statement said: “During the flight, other passengers had made the crew aware of the men.
“According to the witnesses, these had been the subject of terrorist content. Thereupon the flight captain had decided to carry out an evacuation in Cologne around 6pm (local time).”
Three suspects were arrested, according to the statement. A backpack belonging to one of the men was destroyed in a controlled explosion.
The police statement said the three men were being interrogated and they were investigating “on the suspicion of the preparation of a serious state-threatening violence”.
A spokesman for Cologne-Bonn airport said the pilot took the decision to land the plane.
“Prior to this, the pilot had been informed about a suspicious conversation on board, after which he decided to make an unscheduled landing in Cologne-Bonn,” said the spokesman.
Flights were suspended at the airport for three hours.
An easyJet spokeswoman said: “easyJet can confirm that flight EZY3246 from Ljubljana to London Stansted diverted to Cologne on Saturday.
“The captain took the decision as a precaution to enable the aircraft to go through additional security checks in Cologne where the aircraft was met by the police.
“In compliance with the local authorities’ guidance, passengers disembarked to allow additional security checks to be performed.”
She said passengers had been given a hotel stay for the night and would fly back on Sunday morning.