Bomb threat forces Hong Kong jet to make emergency landing

HONG KONG: A bomb threat to a Hong Kong-bound flight with nearly 300 people on board forced the jet to make an emergency landing in China on Tuesday, Hong Kong Airlines said.

“Hong Kong Airlines was notified of a suspected bomb threat onboard its flight HX337 from Beijing to Hong Kong, after the plane had taken off,” a spokeswoman from the airline said.

The captain of the Airbus A330-200 decided to divert “in order to ensure the safety and security of the passengers and crew” and landed the plane at around 2:30 pm local time (0630 GMT) in Tianhe International Airport in the central city of Wuhan, she said.

The precise nature of the threat was not immediately known.

“All 295 passengers and crew members of the flight have since safely disembarked,” she said, adding that the aircraft had undergone security checks.

Photographs shown on Hong Kong´s Cable Television news channel showed Chinese police officers inspecting the plane cabin earlier in the day.

A spokesman for Wuhan airport´s police told AFP that the airport was investigating the incident, without providing any further information.

The plane was later cleared after security checks to continue its flight, said a Hong Kong Airlines´ statement.

The Hong Kong International Airport website showed that the plane arrived in the southern Chinese city shortly after midnight.