Cathay plane escorted to Vancouver after "bomb hoax"

Sun May 16, 2010 1:08pm EDT
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VANCOUVER (Reuters) - A Cathay Pacific airliner from Hong Kong was escorted by military fighter jets to its destination in Vancouver, Canada, after what the airline called a "bomb hoax," but no bomb was found, police said on Saturday.

Police searched the aircraft and luggage after the flight landed at Vancouver International Airport, but "nothing of concern" was found and there was no danger to passengers, according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Two Canadian CF-18 Hornets were scrambled from a military base on nearby Vancouver Island to escort the Cathay Pacific Airways plane in response to the threat, according to police and the Hong Kong-based airline.

"The Vancouver Airport Authority had earlier received an anonymous bomb threat," Cathay said in a written statement.

"As a precaution, two military jets escorted the CX838 as it came into land. The jets did not land with CX838, but returned to their base," it added.

"The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are conducting an investigation into the bomb hoax and at this stage it is inappropriate for us to comment any further," Cathay added.

The flight had 272 passengers and 14 crew on board.

Police did not release details on the threat, but a spokeswoman for Hong Kong's Civil Aviation Authority said the bomb threat had been made by phone.

No arrests have been made and passengers were allowed to leave the aircraft after it landed safely.   Continued...

<p>A Cathay Pacific airplane sits at the terminal at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, British Columbia May 15, 2010. REUTERS/Lyle Stafford</p>