Police release Kuwaiti and Italian men without charge and say no terror incident took place on board diverted Ryanair flight after ‘suspicious item’ in toilet turned out to be mobile phone
- RAF Typhoon jets were scrambled to intercept the Lauda jet after the report
- Armed police surrounded it on runway when it landed at Stansted from Vienna
- Police today released the suspects without charge and closed the investigation
Police have released two Kuwaiti and Italian men without charge and said no terror incident took place on board a diverted Ryanair flight after a ‘suspicious item’ in a toilet turned out to be a mobile phone.
RAF Typhoon jets were scrambled to intercept the Lauda jet before armed police surrounded it on the runway when it landed at Stansted from Vienna at around 7.20pm yesterday.
The crew had alerted police to a potential ‘security threat’ on board, and after landing two men aged 24 and 48 were arrested by anti-terror police and taken into custody. They have now been released and the investigation closed.
Two RAF Typhoon fighter jets were scrambled to escort a passenger jet at London Stansted Airport yesterday evening
Armed police surrounded the Lauda aircraft, which is a subsidiary of RyanAir after it landed on the tarmac at Stansted on Sunday
Two Typhoons accompanied the Ryanair jet as it landed at Stansted airport in Essex.
Passenger Joanna Czechowska said officers boarded and took away two men after the suspicious items were discovered in the toilets.
The two suspects were held in custody but released this morning.
A spokesman for the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit, which fights terrorism and organised crime, today confirmed the ‘suspicious object’ was a phone that was found in the toilets.
Detective Superintendent Andy Waldie said: ‘We understandably take any reports of suspicious objects or behaviour on flights very seriously and thankfully on this occasion there was no cause for concern.
‘I’d like to thank those on the flight for their cooperation and understanding while officers conducted their enquiries.’
Ryanair said: ‘The crew of a Ryanair flight from Vienna to London Stansted this evening were alerted of a potential security threat on board.
‘In line with procedures, the captain informed UK authorities and continued to London Stansted, where the aircraft landed normally and taxied to a remote stand where passengers disembarked safely.
‘Passengers in London Stansted waiting to depart to Vienna were transferred to a spare aircraft to minimise the delay to their flight.
The RAF commented said: ‘Typhoon fighter aircraft from RAF Coningsby were launched this evening to intercept a civilian aircraft. The aircraft was escorted safely to Stansted.’
The jets were thought to have then headed in the direction of Cheltenham to be refueled, before appearing to return towards base at RAF Coningsby.
Joanna Czechowksa was on board the passenger flight which was escorted to London Stansted Airport just after 7pm yesterday
Flight radars spotted both jets flying down to the Essex airport from their base at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire