Passengers, Crew Evacuated From Saudi Plane After Bomb Hoax

MADRID (Reuters) -
Saudi Arabian Airlines flight SVA 226 is isolated on the tarmac after its passengers and crew were evacuated following a bomb threat, at the Barajas airport in Madrid, Spain, February 4, 2016. REUTERS/Sergio Perez TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Saudi Arabian Airlines flight SVA 226 is isolated on the tarmac after its passengers and crew were evacuated following a bomb threat, at the Barajas airport in Madrid, Spain, Thursday. (Reuters/Sergio Perez)

Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia), said a bomb scare that grounded its Riyadh-bound flight from Madrid on Thursday was a false alarm.

“It’s just another hoax that all airlines are subjected to,” a Saudia spokesman told Reuters when asked about the incident.

“It’s false but we must do all the necessary precautionary formalities.”

Saudia’s flight SVA 226 returned to Madrid’s Barajas airport after an alert was raised over a bomb threat, the Interior Minister Jose Fernandez Diaz said.

Spanish authorities evacuated all passengers and crew from a flight bound for Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, at Madrid’s Barajas International Airport after receiving a bomb threat, Spain’s airport operator Aena said.

Aena said they had later downgraded the alarm from general to local, meaning the alert would not affect other flights.

El Pais newspaper said the note, with “bomb threat” written in English, was pinned to a baggage compartment in the plane with a knife.

The plane, which was seen at the airport with the inflatable ramps extended and fire crew nearby, was isolated while an investigation was carried out. The investigation found that it was only a hoax.