Madrid airport sounds alarm after bomb threat on Saudi plane

Madrid, Feb 5 (IANS) A general alert was issued at Madrid’s Barajas airport shortly after midday on Thursday after the captain of a Saudi Airlines plane announced the flight had received a bomb threat, Xinhua reported.

The alert was made public at 12:45 local time after a crew member on flight SVA 226, which was due to fly from the Spanish capital to Riyadh, discovered a note with the message “bomb aboard 11.30” pinned to a door on one of the aircraft’s luggage racks, shortly before take-off.

The plane, a Boeing 777, was taken to a secure zone of the airport and the 97 passengers were evacuated to allow the aircraft to be searched by explosive detection teams.

The Madrid airport authorities (AENA) subsequently published a tweet reading: “We inform you of a threat on Madrid-Riyadh flight SVA 226. The state security forces are making the appropriate inquiries.”

The message was proved to be a false alarm after a search. The alert was cancelled. Acting Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz said that there would be no change to the current level of alert, which was set at four in June out of a maximum of five after terrorist attacks struck Kuwait, France and Tunisia.

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