Bomb scare plane given all-clear

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The Independent Online

A police search concluded there was no threat to a Greek airliner forced to make an emergency landing in Britain after a bomb alert, officers said today.

Police searched the Airbus A340 airliner and the luggage of some 300 passengers for six hours after the Olympic Airlines plane landed with a fighter jet escort at Stansted airport north of London yesterday afternoon.

But police found no evidence of a bomb, and the airliner was to continue its journey from Athens to New York.

"The plane has now been thoroughly searched and police are satisfied there is no threat to safety," said a police spokeswoman. "The aircraft will be refuelled and prepared for its onward flight."

Police said that "well-rehearsed procedures" were followed after an anonymous call to a Greek newspaper said there was a bomb on board Olympic Airlines flight 411 from Athens to New York's JFK Airport. Greek authorities immediately notified the pilot of the call, and he asked for a military escort

Passengers and crew were evacuated within 20 minutes of the flight landing in Stansted. They spent the night at an airport hotel.