Wed, Aug 23, 2006
Plane Bound For India; Passengers Held For Questioning
ANN REALTIME UPDATE
08.23.06 1330 EDT: A few more details are now available regarding
Wednesday's escort of a Northwest Airlines DC-10 flying from
Amsterdam to Mumbai. The airliner returned to Schiphol Airport
after its pilot reported problems aboard the airliner... and a
request for a fighter escort.
What led the pilot of Northwest Flight 42 to make such a request
has not been released publicly as yet... but we do know an untold
number of passengers onboard the plane led to the diversion, and 12
people are now in custody.
The plane "returned when a couple of passengers displayed
behavior of concern," said Northwest spokesman Kurt Ebenhoch. The
flight was cancelled for the day.
Despite the obvious implications behind that statement, those
familiar with airline operations said it is important not to rush
to judgement -- especially as several airliners have been similarly
rerouted out of concerns brought about by the August 10
announcement of an alleged terror plot being uncovered in
"It is too premature to draw any conclusions about terrorist
involvement," said Judith Sluiter, spokeswoman for the Hague-based
National Anti-Terrorism Coordinator, to Bloomberg. The country's
interior affair department stated there is also no need to raise
the country' current threat level after the incident.
No word yet on what led the pilot of a Northwest Airlines DC-10
bound for India to turn back to Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport
Wednesday, escorted by Dutch F-16s.
Newsday reports the pilot contacted Schiphol for permission to
return to the airport as the aircraft flew over Germany -- and
requested the military escort, as well, according to airport
spokeswoman Pamela Kuypers.
Several passengers were detained for questioning after the plane
landed, Kuypers added -- information confirmed by a spokesman for
customs at Schiphol.
"We don't know yet [why the aircraft turned around]," Rick Hirs
told reporters. "We are interviewing passengers and crew
Stay tuned to ANN as we follow this developing story.
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