Bomb hoax on Turkish plane causes delays at Istanbul airport

Bomb hoax on Turkish plane causes delays at Istanbul airport

ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency
Bomb hoax on Turkish plane causes delays at Istanbul airport

DHA photo

A bomb note found in a Turkish Airlines (THY) plane has caused delays in the national carrier’s workflow at Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport less than a week after a THY employee was fired for his purported role in a large number of fake bomb warnings in the past few months.

An Adana-bound THY plane at Atatürk Airport was not able to take off for hours on July 22 because an airport technician needed to bring the plane to a safe zone for a police search was not available for four-and-a-half hours after a cleaning personnel member found a note reading “there is a bomb on the plane.”

The plane landed at 7:15 p.m. on July 22 from Tallinn, but the plane was finally brought to the safe zone at 11:30 p.m. No bomb was found on the plane, and the passengers for the next flight were taken to another Adana-bound plane.

A passenger identified by the initials K.L., who sat in the seat in which the bomb note was found during the Tallinn-Istanbul flight, was detained and taken to the airport’s police department for allegedly writing the message. K.L. was then taken to a police station in Bakırköy that deals with crimes committed by children because he was under the age of 18.

The incident came less than a week after a THY cabin crew member was fired on July 19 for a series of bomb hoaxes. 

The unidentified male crew member was detained two months ago and sent to the Istanbul Police Department’s Counterterrorism Unit, according to police sources.

On April 17, a THY plane heading to Basel was diverted as an emergency measure for a purported bomb on a THY plane. A bomb note was found in the plane’s toilet, and an investigation revealed that the fingerprint on the bomb note was that of the male crew member.

In March and April, THY flights to Tokyo, Sao Paolo and Lisbon were all diverted due to bomb hoaxes.

On March 29, the Tokyo-bound flight returned to Atatürk Airport after a message “C-4 Cargo” was discovered by the cabin crew in the lavatory.

On March 30, the THY plane traveling from Istanbul to Sao Paulo made an emergency landing in Casablanca. A search of the Boeing 777-300ER plane bound for Brazil determined that the threat was a hoax, allowing the plane to subsequently continue on its route, the company added.

Similarly, the THY plane flying from Istanbul to Portugal returned to Atatürk Airport on April 1 after a bomb threat that later turned out to be another hoax.

A passenger on a THY plane flying to the Turkmen capital Ashgabat from Istanbul caused panic in mid-November 2014 after shouting that he had a bomb attached to his body, showing a lump concealed under his clothes that later turned out to be a liquor bottle.