A Russian Aeroflot passenger jet carrying at least 253 people from New York to Moscow made an emergency landing in Iceland on Thursday after receiving an anonymous bomb threat, officials said.
The flight had already departed New York when a caller informed US law enforcement authorities that five suitcases packed with explosives had been placed on board, Interfax quoted an air traffic control source in Moscow as saying.
The Airbus A-330 jet landed in Keflavik International Airport near Iceland's capital Reykjavik after requesting an emergency landing early on Thursday, the airport said a statement.
According to Aeroflot, there were 256 passengers on board, although the airport gave the number as 253.
Officials decided to evacuate the entire airport as a safety precaution, the statement added.
A safety check of the plane found no traces of explosives, an unnamed Russian government representative in Iceland told the ITAR-TASS news agency.
But an Aeroflot spokeswoman could not confirm the all-clear report, saying that safety checks were still ongoing.
"The inspection procedure should take at least six hours," the state airline's spokeswoman Irina Dannenberg said by telephone.
Dannenberg added that the flight had now been tentatively scheduled to depart for Moscow from Iceland at 1900 GMT.
by Stephen Weizman Â© 2012 AFP
Date: Aug 16, 2012