Bomb scare forces BA flight evacuation in Paris

Bomb scare forces BA flight evacuation in Paris

Passengers are evacuated from a British Airways plane on the tarmac of Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, France, after a bomb scare. (James Anderson via AP)

PARIS: A London-bound British Airways flight was evacuated at Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport on Sunday (Sep 17) after a bomb scare, but was later cleared for take-off.

A woman in her 50s was taken into custody on suspicion of claiming that the Heathrow-bound plane, with 130 passengers onboard, was going to explode, a source close to the inquiry said.

She was refused access to the plane because she did not have a valid ticket. Authorities released the woman later on Sunday after a psychiatrist determined she was suffering from impaired judgement, the source said.

An airport source said the threat came about 10 minutes before flight BA303 was due to take off, prompting it to be evacuated.

Bomb disposal experts and sniffer dogs swept the aircraft, while passengers had to pass back through security, the source said.

Passenger James Anderson, a 20-year-old entrepreneur, wrote on Twitter that everyone onboard had been "individually searched by armed officers", while police and fire vehicles surrounded the plane.

The airport's operator Aeroports de Paris said an incident "linked to security" had grounded the plane.

"There was an incident that led authorities to decide to keep the plane on the ground and to disembark the passengers a few minutes before take-off, to carry out additional checks," a spokesman said.

The scare came after the bombing of a London Underground train on Friday that left 30 people injured.

The flight was able to take off shortly before noon (1000 GMT), more than four hours late.

British Airways said in a statement: "The safety and security of our customers and crew is always our top priority. "We would never operate a flight unless it is safe to do so."

Source: AFP/hs/de