'I’ll set this plane on fire': Note causes transatlantic Egyptair plane diversion to Glasgow Prestwick Airport

RAF Typhoon fighters scrambled to escort passenger jet, originally bound for New York

A passenger jet was forced to make an emergency landing in Scotland after a written note was found on board threatening to set the plane on fire.

RAF Typhoon fighters were scrambled to escort an Egyptair flight from Cairo to New York as it diverted to Glasgow Prestwick airport following the discovery of the note in the toilet. After landing, the Boeing 777 was isolated on the tarmac, away from passenger terminals, and surrounded by police. Egyptair later confirmed a technical team, including bomb disposal experts, were checking the aircraft. A police spokesman said that all 326 people on board would be questioned.

The emergency began after BBC New York producer Nada Tawfik, one of the passengers flying to JFK, alerted crew to the note she had found in the cabin toilet which said: “I’ll set this plane on fire.” Speaking from the plane, Ms Tawfik said: “When I went in to change my daughter, about three hours into the flight, I found a note by the sink saying ‘I’ll set this plane on fire’ with the seat number 46D written on it. So I immediately went to the crew and told them about it. It was on a hand napkin written in pencil and the pencil was actually still there, so I told the crew to make sure to keep it so they can get any fingerprints off it. They locked the bathroom immediately so that no one could go into it.

“It almost looked like a child’s handwriting or someone who has very sloppy handwriting, but it was very alarming, especially these days when everyone is so concerned about safety on flights. I said to one of the stewardesses, ‘I don’t know if this is a prank’; they said no, it can’t be a prank. Either someone has a very bad sense of humour or, you know, it’s very scary.”

A spokesman for the Ayrshire airport said it was dealing with an “ongoing incident”, although no other flights were disrupted.

A Scottish police spokesman said: “At 1420 hours today an Egyptair aircraft flying from Cairo to New York was diverted to Prestwick after a suspicious note was discovered on the aircraft. There are no reports of anyone injured. All passengers will be interviewed by police.”

In a similar incident last month, RAF Tycoon jets were scrambled when a Pakistan International Airlines flight was diverted to Stansted on its journey from Lahore to Manchester. The emergency landing came after air traffic control reported a dispute on board the aircraft. It was alleged that a passenger had threatened to blow up the plane amid reports of an on-board dispute with cabin staff. Two men were later charged with endangering an aircraft.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk