A Ryanair flight made an emergency landing at Stansted Airport after a note was found claiming that there were explosives on board.
Flight FR1902 received a military escort and was diverted to Stansted after the captain sent a distress call.
Armed police surrounded the plane and the passengers were evacuated to a secure part of the airport before specialized officers searched for clues to the culprit.
The flight had taken off from Krakow in Poland and was on its way to Dublin when the incident was discovered.
An airline spokesperson told Mirror Online: “A Ryanair flight from Krakow to Dublin this evening discovered a note in one of the toilets claiming that there were explosives on board.
“The captain followed the procedure by alerting the British authorities and diverted to the nearest airport (Stansted) where the plane landed normally, but was transported to a distant post where the passengers have landed safely.
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“The plane and the passengers are checked by the British police who will decide when they can go to Dublin on a spare plane.
“Dublin passengers awaiting departure for Krakow are transferred to a spare plane to minimize any delay in their flight.
“Ryanair sincerely apologizes for the delay and inconvenience caused to those affected by this hijacking.”
Eyewitnesses said that the flight was surrounded by armed police after it landed.
One said: “The airport is covered with armed police and also around lots of planes and lots of fire trucks and ambulances. ”
The Boeing 737 declared an emergency and was intercepted and escorted to Essex Airport by two RAF Eurofighter typhoons.
The aircraft began to descend over the United Kingdom at around 6.30 p.m. this evening after declaring an emergency over the North Sea.
He allegedly lost communication with air traffic control during his flight to Dublin.
Essex police said: “A flight from Krakow to Dublin was diverted to Stansted Airport around 6.30pm on Monday 13 July due to reports of a security alert.
“The plane is currently at the airport and the officers are investigating.
“We will bring you more information when we can. ”
A spokesman for Stansted Airport confirmed the incident to reporters and said police were on hand to deal with it.
She said that the passengers on board were safe.
RAF fighter jets can fly at speeds of up to 500 mph.
They would have returned to their base.
They were from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire, which is one of two RAF rapid reaction alert stations responsible for protecting British airspace.
Stansted is an aerodrome designated for emergency situations like these.
The plane remains at the airport this evening and would be parked on the north side, generally reserved for such situations, including hijackings or terrorist threats.
Emergency teams were on standby at Stansted in accordance with airport procedures.
Photo of aircraft courtesy of Airwaysmag.com