April 12, 2015 / 8:34 PM / in 3 years

Germanwings plane evacuated after bomb scare

BERLIN (Reuters) - A Germanwings flight bound for Italy from Germany was evacuated late on Sunday due to a bomb threat, the airline said.

A barrier tape of German airline Lufthansa's low-cost carrier Germanwings is pictured at a closed gate of Berlin Tegel airport August 29, 2014. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

Germanwings, a budget unit of German airline Lufthansa, has been in the spotlight since one of its planes crashed into a mountain in the French Alps last month, killing everyone on board.

Germanwings said the pilot of Flight 4U 826 to Milan was taxiing to the runway when he received a call from the air traffic tower at Cologne/Bonn airport to abort the flight.

Passengers and crew vacated the Airbus A320 in an orderly fashion, it said, adding federal police had received the bomb threat.

A total of 132 people were aboard the plane, including 126 passengers and six crew members, Spiegel-Online reported.

An examination of the baggage and the aircraft itself yielded no results, Germanwings said in a separate statement later on Sunday evening.

A spokesman for Cologne/Bonn airport could not immediately be reached for comment. The federal police did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Germanwings said passengers would be able to fly to Milan on a different aircraft on Sunday night while the searched plane has been cleared for air traffic.

Lufthansa has faced questions about its pilot screening process since the March 24 Germanwings crash which appears to have been caused by a co-pilot who suffered from depression and deliberately steered the plane into a mountain.

Reporting by Andreas Cremer and Reuters TV; editing by Susan Thomas and Matthew Lewis

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