Man arrested after plane scare

2012-09-02 08:25
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Beijing - Police in southern China have arrested a man suspected of threatening to blow up a commercial jet, following a similar incident affecting a flight from Beijing, state press said on Sunday.

Police arrested Xiong Yi, 29, in Dongguan city on Saturday after tracing an anonymous phone call threatening a flight from Shenzhen airport on Thursday, Xinhua news agency said.

Xiong confessed that he warned airport officials that explosives would be detonated on a Shenzhen Airlines flight 45 minutes after take-off, forcing air controllers to divert the flight, the report said.

After inspecting the grounded plane, police found no dangerous items on board, it said.

The incident happened a day after an Air China plane bound for New York was forced to return to Beijing following a similar unspecified threat.

After police determined that no dangerous materials were on that flight, the Air China plane flew to New York following a delay of several hours.

Authorities are still investigating the incident, while Beijing airport authorities warned passengers to be prepared for increased security measures, state media said on Sunday.

In June, six members of China's Uighur minority tried to hijack a Chinese domestic flight departing from a restive city in the far-western Xinjiang region, but crew members and passengers thwarted them, authorities said.

The Tianjin Airlines plane, bound for the Xinjiang capital of Urumqi, returned safely to the airport in Hotan city after a struggle between the hijackers and the crew members and passengers.

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