Bomb threats ground passenger planes in Argentina, Chile, Peru and Greece

- A Monitor Report 17 Aug, 2018 | 3303 Views|-+
Santiago: Nine flights were grounded in South America after bomb threats that have baffled investigators, while in Greece fighter jets were sent scrambling following threats on board a flight from Egypt.

Passenger planes have made emergency changes to their routes in South America and Greece following bomb threats.

Nine planes changed their routes within Chilean, Argentine and Peruvian airspace because of bomb threats issued to Chile’s civil aviation authority.

At least two of the planes were operated by LATAM Airlines and three by Sky, a low-cost Chilean airline.

Victor Villalobos Collao, the director general of Chile’s civil aviation authority (DGAC), said 11 threats were made in total, two of which were “fictitious” and nine of which related to existing flights.

All of the planes were declared free of explosives, and at least one plane was later allowed to resume its flight, he said.

He said calls warning of bombs on board flights were made to LATAM’s offices, and the civil aviation authority, and police are now trying to trace their origin.

For four of the flights, Santiago, Chile’s capital, was either the origination or the destination.

One flight, Sky 162, took off from Santiago’s Arturo Merino Benitez airport and was headed to the northern city of Antofagasta when it was instructed to return to Santiago.

Flight LATAM 2369, originating from Lima, the capital of Peru, and heading for Santiago, was forced to land in the southern Peruvian city of Pisco.

Another Sky flight, Sky 524, is understood according to flight schedules to have taken off from the Argentine city of Mendoza.

It made an emergency landing in Santiago before proceeding to Rosario in Argentina.

Sky said another of its planes, Flight 166, was prevented from taking off from Santiago because of a bomb threat.

In addition, LATAM 800, which according to flight schedules took off from Auckland, New Zealand, performed an emergency landing in its destination of Santiago. That flight is still undergoing security checks.

Collao said other flights were checked in Iquique, another city in northern Chile, Antofagasta and Mendoza.

“The affected passengers will be transferred by LATAM onto other flights,” the airline said.

“The authorities have not at this moment found any evidence that might put passengers at risk.”

On the island of Crete in Greece, a German Condor Airways passenger plane made an emergency landing at Chania airport over an alleged bomb threat on board, local media reported.

The aircraft with more than 270 passengers was en route from Egypt’s Hurghada to Dusseldorf, according to Skai broadcaster.

All passengers and 11 crew members safely left the plane after the landing. The reports of the bomb threat are being checked by the police.

Local military officials say the Boeing 757 jet was escorted to Chania airport by two Greek air force F-16 fighters scrambled after the pilot reported the threat, and landed without incident.

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