A passenger jet at the centre of an alleged terrorism bomb hoax resumed its flight to Pakistan tonight after a brief stop in the UK.
Swedish police evacuated 273 people from the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane and a SWAT team detained a 25-year-old man.
The flight from Toronto to Karachi was diverted to Stockholm after Canadian authorities received a tip-off that the passenger was carrying explosives.
However, no explosives were found on the man or on the Boeing 777, and the suspect was later released from custody.
All passengers – except the suspect – were allowed back on the plane nine hours later.
Flight PK782 resumed its journey via Manchester, where a new crew boarded the aircraft for the rest of the journey to Karachi.
A spokeswoman for Manchester Airport confirmed the aircraft arrived at around 6pm and was processed as a “normal transfer flight”. The plane departed around two hours later, she added.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said they were investigating whether the incident was a “terrorism hoax”.
Spokesman Sergeant Marc LaPorte said an anonymous caller rang twice yesterday claiming a man on the flight had explosives.
“We take any call of this nature very seriously,” he said. “We have to ascertain the credibility and reliability of the call and try to determine whether there was a deliberate intent on behalf of the caller to mislead the police or if it falls into the definition of a terrorism hoax.”
Police said the man was not on any international no-fly lists and had cleared a security check in Canada. He did not resist when the SWAT team took him into custody, officials added. It was reported tonight that he had been released without charge.
PIA said there were 255 passengers and 18 crew members on the plane. Of the passengers, 102 were Canadian nationals, 139 Pakistanis, eight US citizens, three Indians and one each from Japan, Malaysia and Bangladesh.